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Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Cultural Heritage > B0092XHU2M
  1. We Need New Names: A Novel (NoViolet Bulawayo)
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  2. We Need New Names: A Novel (NoViolet Bulawayo)

    [B0092XHU2M]
    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (270 reviews)
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Additional Information

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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Specifications

Country
USA
Author
NoViolet Bulawayo
Binding
Kindle Edition
EISBN
9780316230834
Format
Kindle eBook
Label
Reagan Arthur Books
Manufacturer
Reagan Arthur Books
NumberOfPages
305
PublicationDate
2013-05-21
Publisher
Reagan Arthur Books
ReleaseDate
2013-05-21
Studio
Reagan Arthur Books
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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 playmates (I'd say schoolmates but the teachers have all left the country and the school closed) play such games as "Find Bin Laden." She also has a special gift for capturing expressions on other characters' faces: "like she was hearing music inside her head and dancing to it" is a description of the expression of an aunt who has been complimented by an old flame who is marrying someone else.

The disintegration of the home country, the desperate desire to be somewhere else, and the bitterness of those left behind are rendered in muscular, lyrical prose studded with native ("our language" which is never identified) and childish phrases. The description of eating the guavas (on which she used to gorge herself as a child) for the first time since coming... Read more
We Need New Names is a critical addition to the evolving brand of African literature that situates itself in a realistic global realm.
Bulawayo's description of a Zimbabwe going through a dilapidating socio-political transformation through the eyes of a ten year old would have resonated not only with anyone who witnessed the country at the turn of the millennium, but provided vivid imagery for those who may just have heard of a country at crisis.
Her move to the US does the same, immediately establishing universally recognizable characters and, most importantly, the immigrant rapport with an often unwittingly xenophobic place as well the gut-wrenching battle between holding on to 'your' country (in this case, Zimbabwe) and realistically acknowledging that there is a reason you left, there are experiences there you can no longer relate with and, for all its faults, there is a life here that you would not have had you still been home.
Bulawayo's genius is further... Read more
We Need New Names is a tour de force of the English language illuminating what it means to be young, poor, female, African and an immigrant in the XXIst century. NoViolet Bulawayo brings to life a ten year old child surviving a brutal Zimbabwe, where there is no mercy, no help let alone food and schools. The appropriation of English, as Bakhtin would say, is uncanny. An entire culture comes to life, as we understand Darling and her friends' lives, an edgy dangerous and tragic one, where children are children in name only.
Chinua Achebe says that English is a weapon of struggle, for the capable and talented writer who can use it thus. Bulawayo proves deft at the use of this weapon, to show us how "things have fallen apart" (a phrase repeated numerous times) in her country.
The second part of the novel takes us to America, to Destroyedmichygen (an apt metaphor of Detroit). There Darling finds not the promised land, but the suffering and diconnection, the yearning of... Read more
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