We Need New Names

we need new names cover image We Need New Names

by NoViolet Bulwayo
General Fiction
Reagan Arthur Books
Hardcover, 304 pages
$25.00

NoViolet Bulawayo grew up in Zimbabwe and emigrated to the US at 18 to study law. The photo image of a child sitting atop the rubble of his bull-dozed home in her home country changed her mind and this debut novel is the result. The story is told from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl “Darling” who roams her corner of Zimbabwe with her posse of Bastard, Chipo, Godknows, Sbho and Stina stirring-up adventures each of which is a metaphor for the condition of her failing country under the rule of the aging Robert Mugabe. The writing is lyrical and captivating as Darling then finds herself an immigrant in “Destroyedmichygen” with a new posse of Nigerian and African-American girlfriends. Widely praised and prized, the book was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.