We Need New Names: A Novel

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Little, Brown, May 21, 2013 - Fiction - 304 pages
39 Reviews
A remarkable literary debut -- shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize! The unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America.


Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad.



But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America's famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few. NoViolet Bulawayo's debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her-from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M. Coetzee-while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

When the story opens, 10 year old Darling lives with her mother and grandmother in Zimbabwe. Darling, like all children, has a vivid imagination and loves to play with her friends. But the violence ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Bostonseanachie - LibraryThing

We Need New Names is a lush, language-rich narration by a young African girl who gradually becomes an expat in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The narrator's voice has a wonderful innocence, even as she and her ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

NoViolet's story "Hitting Budapest," the opening chapter of the novel, won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing. NoViolet's other work has been shortlisted for the 2009 SA PEN Studzinsi Award, and has appeared in Callaloo, The Boston Review, Newsweek, and The Warwick Review, as well as in anthologies in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK. NoViolet recently earned her MFA at Cornell University, where her work has been recognized with a Truman Capote Fellowship. She will be attending Stanford in the fall as a Wallace Stegner Fellow for 2012-2014. NoViolet was born and raised in Zimbabwe.

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