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They Dream In Gold

They Dream In Gold

(Pre-Order, July 30 2024)

Mai Sennaar
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For fans of Tara M. Stringfellow's Memphis and Abi Daré's The Girl with the Louding Voice comes a stunning literary debut about one intercultural family's search for home and the power of a lifelong dream

It is summer 1969 in the Swiss countryside, and the house on the hill is busy. In the kitchen, Mama Eva and her sisters sing along to Congolese rumba, season fish, and pound garlic in preparation for the realization of a childhood dream: the grand opening of her Senegalese restaurant. Upstairs, African American daughter-in-law Bonnie paces across the floorboards, hopelessly waiting for news from the father of her unborn child.

Mansour has been gone for three months. His tour was only meant to last three weeks, but he and his band have yet to return.

In Mansour's absence, the people he left behind reckon with their memories of him: Mama Eva remembers his birth along a riverbank in rural Senegal; his aunt, the first time she saw him begging in the market; his childhood friend, the day he arrived in Paris. As Bonnie's anxieties mount, she plays his music on repeat, calmed by his voice, and putting a plan in action to find him.

Through tales that span generations and continents, these women paint Mansour's life in vivid color, and soon, both the lingering questions of their pasts and the truth of his disappearance are revealed.

Epic in scope but intimate in its portraiture, They Dream in Gold is a kaleidoscopic novel exploring the diasporic hunger for belonging. Moving through the hotbeds of the African Diaspora--from colonial West Africa on the brink of revolution to Brazil during Carnival season--it is a deeply affecting ode to the people and places that shape our identities, and a powerful testament to our shared humanity.


Mai Sennaar is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. The Smithsonian Affiliate Museum of the African Diaspora, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem are among the venues that have presented her plays. Her short film Wax Lovers' Playlist premiered at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and was an Official Selection of the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival. She is the book writer for Carry On!, a new musical by Broadway composer Diana Wharton Sennaar and the creative director of the performing arts company MWPLive. They Dream in Gold is her first novel. She lives between Baltimore and Dakar.


  • Publisher: Sjp Lit
  • Publish Date: July 30, 2024
  • Pages: 432
  • Dimensions
  • 6 X 1.4 X 9 inches | 1.74 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9781638931102
  • BISAC Categories: Literary, Coming of Age, African American - Women, Cultural Heritage, Feminist
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