* Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013* * US National Book Award 5 Under 35 *
* Winner of the Etisalat Prize 2014*
* Winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award 2014*
* Winner of a Betty Trask Award 2014*
‘To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?’
Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices.
They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges – for her and also for those she’s left behind.
Recommend this book
Add your recommendation
Only registered users can recommend books. Please use the buttons below to either create a new account, or sign-in to an existing account.
The challenging rhythm and infectious language of NoViolet Bulawayo's emotionally articulate novel turns a familar tale of immigrant displacement into a heroic ballad. Bulawayo's courage and her literary scope shine out from this outstanding debut - Daily Mail
Darling is 10 when we first meet her, and the voice Ms. Bulawayo has fashioned for her is utterly distinctive — by turns unsparing and lyrical, unsentimental and poetic, spiky and meditative... stunning novel... remarkably talented author - New York Times
Often heartbreaking, but also pulsing with colour and energy - The Times (Saturday Review)
Creates a fictional world that is immediate, fresh, and identifies the arrival of a talented writer - Sunday Times (Culture)
A debut that blends wit and pain... heartrending... wonderfully original - Independent
We Need New Names is full of life -- you can almost feel the sun on your arms and hear the birds in the trees -- and Bulawayo is certainly one to watch - Stylist
Written in sharp, snappy prose, this is a raw and thought-provoking debut - Easy Living
A truthful, profound snapshot of the kind of life that often gets overlooked. Moving, fresh, enlightening. A fantastic novel - Waterstone's Aberystwyth
A bittersweet coming-of-age tale of displacement during the southern African nation's 'lost decade' - Voice
Bulawayo, whose prose is warm and clear and unfussy, maintains Darling's singular voice throughout, even as her heroine struggles to find her footing. Her hard, funny first novel is a triumph. - Entertainment Weekly
Wonderfully, this is a novel whipped with the complexities of African identities in a post-colonial and globalised world and its most compelling theme is that of contemporary displacement, a theme that will resonate with many readers - We Sat Down Blog
This is a young author to watch - Financial Times
This is a very readable tale, thanks to some excellent writing and its central character: a likeable heroine in a difficult world - UK Regional Press Syndication
Bulawayo excels... there is an inevitable nod to Achebe and the verbal delights and child's-eye view of the world is redolent of The God of Small Things. Otherwise, the magic is all Bulawayo's own - Literary Review
There is no doubt that a new star of African female writing is truly born. The one-to-watch - New African
Follow ten-year-old Darling from the Paradise shantytown to America in this searing indictment of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe - Metro
Shocking, often heartbreaking – but also pulsing with energy - The Times
A poignant, witty, original and lyrical coming of age story - Daily Express
From the opening chapter…the first-person narrative achieves a breathtaking vibrancy, ambition and pathos - Irish Examiner
By this author
About the Author
NOVIOLET BULAWAYO was born in Tsholotsho a year after Zimbabwe’s independence from British colonial rule. When she was eighteen, she moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
In 2011 she won the Caine Prize for African Writing; in 2009 she was shortlisted for the South Africa PEN Studzinsi Award, judged by JM Coetzee. Her work has appeared in magazines and in anthologies in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship, and she is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California. We Need New Names is her first novel. In 2013 it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.