contemporary YA / Magical Realism / Meet the Author / Swanky 17s

Meet the Author: Ibi Zoboi


Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. when she was four years old. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she was a recipient of the Norma Fox Mazer Award. Her award-winning and Pushcart-nominated writing has been published in Haiti Noir, the Caribbean Writer, The New York Times Book Review, the Horn Book Magazine, and The Rumpus, among others.

Her debut novel AMERICAN STREET (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, February 14, 2017) is a YA Contemporary, Magic Realism. On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Her debut Middle Grade novel, MY LIFE AS AN ICE CREAM SANDWICH (Dutton/Penguin), is forthcoming.

Fun Facts:

The two or three items she needs to have with her when she sits down to write: Guacamole, carrot sticks, herbal tea

The literary character you would most like to meet: Lauren “Oya” Olamina  from Octavia Butler’s Parable series.

Her favorite Muppet and why: Kermit, because it’s not easy being green.

The craziest thing she did when she was 17: Joined the Speech & Debate team. And won a few rounds.

If she could travel anywhere in the world, she’d go: Goree Island, Senegal, West Africa.


Where You’ll find her: 

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads Author Page/Goodreads Book Page/Instagram


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