Inviting. Informing. Transforming. » About » Library News » Stark Library Invites You to Explore the American Dream with Imbolo Mbue

Stark Library Invites You to Explore the American Dream with Imbolo Mbue

January 14, 2019 (Canton, Ohio) – Join Stark Library for the next installment of the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series with bestselling author Imbolo Mbue. She will join us at 6:30 p.m. on February 7th at the Canton Palace Theatre to discuss her debut novel, literary journey, and take audience questions.

Behold the Dreamers follows two very different families and their experiences during the 2008 financial crisis and explores what it means to pursue the American dream in the 21st century. It was a New York Times bestseller, won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Blue Metropolis Words to Change Award, and was an Oprah's Book Club selection. Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post and a Best Book of the Year by close to a dozen publications, the novel has been translated into 12 languages, adapted into an opera, is about to become a stage play, and was recently optioned for a movie.

Libraries have always been a home base for Mbue and she credits them as a key element in her success, “As a young immigrant in America, libraries offered me solace, a place where I could feel at home even on my most homesick days; it is no coincidence that my journey as a writer began when I walked into a library one day and borrowed a book that changed my life. Thank you, thank you, to libraries and all who support them.”

“Imbolo shares a realistic account of chasing the American dream during the economic crash. Her story of struggle, perseverance, and hope brings a fresh look at the immigrant experience in the US makes her a timely addition to the Speaking of Books lineup,” said Marianna DiGiacomo, Community Services Director.

The Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series brings acclaimed writers to Stark County who inspire lively discussion and community conversation while exemplifying literary excellence. It is named for Dr. Audrey Lavin, a local “celebrity” author, a globe-trotting academic, a champion of writers, and a tireless supporter of the Library.

The 2018-2019 season includes four special evenings planned at the Canton Palace Theatre. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the Friends of the Library. Reserve your free seats for this event at

The remaining event in our 2018-2019 season is:
Mike Massimino Astronaut and Bestselling Author Tuesday, April 2, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. Massimino has been called “the real-life astronaut who inspired George Clooney’s role” in the film Gravity. His book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, has received rave reviews and is a New York Times bestseller.


One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, the Library serves more than 240,000 residents, annually circulating nearly 4 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 9,000 programs for 166,000 attendees and provides 220,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch. In 2017, Stark Library served nearly 2 million visitors at all locations and online.

Today, as it reimagines itself as The SmartStore, where everything is free®, the Library is emerging as a national thought-leader with innovations such as its “no overdue fines” policy, the BikeSmart bike sharing network, passport services and the StartSmart School Partnership.
For locations, hours or more information visit or call 330.452.0665.
# # #