NoViolet comes to Byo

MAN Booker Prize finalist NoViolet Bulawayo will visit the City of Kings next week to launch her shortlisted debut novel We Need New Names.


The United States-based author is scheduled to launch her book at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe September 17. Brian Jones of amaBooks confirmed NoViolet’s scheduled launch in an interview with Southern Eye Lifestyle yesterday.

“The launch will feature readings from the novel and a discussion between NoViolet and Drew Shaw of the National University of Science and Technology,” Jones said.

He added that the event will be free of charge, saying people were welcome to attend the launch.

Members of the audience will get a chance to ask NoViolet any questions as well as buy a signed copy of her book.

The launch in Bulawayo will be special for NoViolet as she will be showcasing her work in her home town. Her novel has been described as a “visceral and bittersweet” portrayal of life in a Zimbabwean shantytown called Paradise.

It tells the story of Darling and her friends Stina, Chipo, Godknows, S’bho and Bastard. They all used to have proper houses, with real rooms and furniture, but now they all live in a shanty town called Paradise.

They spend their days stealing guavas, playing games and wondering how to get the baby out of young Chipo’s stomach, they dream of escaping to other paradises, America, Dubai and Europe, but if they do escape, will these new lands bring everything they wish for?

NoViolet was born in Tsholotsho. She earned an MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship. She is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California, US.

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