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NoViolet Bulawayo

Autor(a) de We Need New Names

5+ Works 1,704 Membros 96 Reviews

About the Author

Obras de NoViolet Bulawayo

We Need New Names (2013) 1,363 cópias
Glory (2022) 328 cópias
Precisamos de Novos Nomes (2014) 9 cópias
Hitting Budapest 3 cópias

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum




#ReadAroundTheWorld. #Zimbabwe

This is a coming of age story set in Zimbabwe around 2007 or 2008, told through the eyes of ten-year-old Darling. The author NoViolet Bulawayo (Elizabeth Tshele) was the first African woman to be shortlisted for a Man Booker Award.

The book starts off following a group of children in Zimbabwe: Darling, Stina, Chipo, Bastard and Godknows. As they run around stealing guavas, trying to figure out how to get the baby out of Chipo’s belly and watching the spectacle and drama of Sunday church services, they reveal a world of political unrest and turmoil. Through the oblique gaze of childhood, not fully understanding the politics and events occurring, and just accepting life as it is, these children show us something of their world with a humour and candour that made this an engaging read. There are clearly terrible events happening but this style makes them somewhat easier to read.

I found the second half of the novel when Darling goes to America and lives with her aunt far less interesting. Clearly the immigrant experience and feeling of displacement and disconnection is an important one, but somehow did not come off as well for me.

I am glad I read this book and I would like to read another by this author. Be aware if you do choose to read this book it does contain a childhood rape.
… (mais)
mimbza | outras 85 resenhas | Apr 7, 2024 |
I'm stopping at a third of the way through this >400 page satire; that's a whole heaping lot of satire for me and I've hit my satire limit and have no further room for more satire. It seems a pretty direct recounting of the Zimbabwe coup that toppled Mugabe and reactions among the population and all in all I'd prefer to read a non-fiction account of all this. That said this is well written for what it is.
lelandleslie | outras 9 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |
This book provides an incredibly interesting perspective of a young girl immigrating to the US from Zimbabwe. I was struck by how the story jumps in time, skipping months or years to get to the next event. It reminded me a bit of "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros in that regard. Watching Darling grow up and see how her time in the US changes her from who she was in Zimbabwe is very poignant. There is a lot to think about with this book, and I feel it would make a good book club book.… (mais)
BarnesBookshelf | outras 85 resenhas | Oct 30, 2023 |

“This is not an animal farm but Jidada with a -da and another -da!”

NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory is an allegorical novel set in a fictional African country, Jidada, with an animal population throughout - anthropomorphic horses, dogs, pigs, goats, and chickens and others – comprising the ruling class, military, ministers and the commoners. Inspired by the 2017 coup that led to the removal of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president of nearly four decades from power, the story begins with the long-serving President, Father of the Nation, Old Horse, hailed for liberating Jidada from its colonizers decades ago, being removed from power by a carefully orchestrated coup. The removal of their leader was a cause for celebration, but when the Old Horse’s former Vice President, Tuvius “Tuvy” Delight Shasha ( a character based on Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa) quickly assumes the position of power - The Savior –with his own set of sycophants and yes-men at his beck and call- the Jidadans’ hopes for a better future are soon dashed. As the narrative progresses, political turmoil ensues - a seemingly never-ending cycle of corruption, megalomania, and oppression. Amidst the chaos, we meet Destiny, who has recently returned to her homeland after a long exile. Her family had suffered during the Old Horse’s regime and was witness to some of the most horrific violence in the history of the nation. She returns only to see history repeating itself under the new leadership. She shares in the pain and disillusionment of those who had hoped for their country’s better future but remains hopeful that a revolution with new and powerful voices would lead their country forward and prove to be a catalyst for positive change.

Overall, I found Glory to be a creative, thought-provoking and powerful read that manages to convey a strong message under a veneer of absurdity and humor. In several interviews and her Booker Library write-up the author has talked about how she was inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm while framing this novel. This is a lengthy novel - long drawn and descriptive and suffers from mild repetition (the frequency of certain words/phrases in the narrative could be a tad distracting for the reader but proved entertaining in audio narration)- but the author manages to weave a compelling narrative. It took me a while to get used to the tone and pace of the narrative , but as the story progressed (around the 20% mark), I was immersed. The author references several real characters and events from the past and present and and some of the horrific real events that are referred to within this story (including the Gukurahundi genocide of 1982) are hard to read. The nod to native folklore and storytelling enriches the narrative, and the humor and satirical elements render the bleak parts of this story easier to read. The author's characterizations of strong female characters ("femals") in this novel - be it the Old Horse's power hungry wife or the women actively opposing corruption and tyranny is worth mentioning and lends a feminist tone to the narrative.

While I initially found the anthropomorphism amusing, given the length of this novel, I can’t help but wonder whether this novel would have been equally (or even more, for that matter) impactful had the characters not been presented as talking animals who behave (almost in all respects) like human beings. Though the author’s story is inspired by Zimbabwe's political climate and the aftermath of Mugabe’s regime, all we need to do is take a look at the world around us- despots in power, regimes that have fallen, the state of contemporary politics the world around - and appreciate the timeliness and relevance of this novel.

I paired my reading with the excellent audio narration by Chipo Chung which truly enhanced my experience.

“Tholukuthi through these tales we learned there were in fact many untold narratives that were left out of the Seat of Power’s tales of the nation, that were excluded from Jidada’s great books of history. That the nation’s stories of glory were far from being the whole truth, and that sometimes the Seat of Power’s truths were actually half-truths and mistruths as well as deliberate erasures. Which in turn made us understand the importance not only of narrating our own stories, our own truths, but of writing them down as well so they were not taken from us, never altered, tholukuthi never erased, never forgotten.”

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… (mais)
srms.reads | outras 9 resenhas | Sep 4, 2023 |



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