Bite Studio - Visual Editor
Random House Speakers

We Need New Names

NoViolet Bulawayo

(Enlarge Image)

Published by Vintage Digital, part of Vintage Publishing

  • Epub

Format: ebook

Buying options

This book is also available as:


Available for immediate download


EAN: 9781448156238
Published: 6 Jun 2013


About the book


* 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*

‘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.

Register here or Sign in here


What the critics say

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

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

A powerful new African voice
- Pride Magazine

Written in sharp, snappy prose, this is a raw and thought-provoking debut
- Easy Living

Enthralling... a provocative, hauting debut from an author to watch
- Elle (US)

How does a writer tell the story of a traumatized nation without being unremittingly bleak? NoViolet Bulawayo manages if by forming a cast of characters so delightful and joyous that the reader is seduced by their antics at the same time as finding out about the country’s troubles… A debut that is poignant and moving but which also glows with humanity and humour
- Independent on Sunday

A novel that deals with the immigrant experience and torn identity is nothing new; what justifies the inclusion of We Need New Names on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize is NoViolet Bulawayo’s command of Darling’s captivating voice, as she and her friends race through Paradise – “When we hit the bush we are already flying, scream-singing like the wheels in our voices will make us go faster” – a siren call of life and laughter more powerful than the hardships that blight her childhood.
- Times Literary Supplement

When a novel is praised by Helon Habila and Oprah Winfrey, you have to sit up
- Independent on Sunday

NoViolet Bulawayo has created a world that lives and breathes - and fights, kicks, screams and scratches, too. She has clothed it in words and given it a voice at once dissonant and melodic, utterly distinct
- Aminatta Forna

NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names is an exquisite and powerful first novel, filled with an equal measure of beauty and horror and laughter and pain. The lives (and names) of these characters will linger in your mind, and heart, long after you're done reading the book. No Violet Bulawayo is definitely a writer to watch
- Edwidge Danticat

I was bowled over... by NoViolet Bulawayo's shatteringly good first novel, We Need New Names
- Anne Tyler, Good Housekeeping

A work of gritty naturalism
- Prospect

Witty... ebullient... heartbreaking... our feisty heroine's sparkle never dims
- i

A truthful, profound snapshot of the kind of life that often gets overlooked. Moving, fresh, enlightening. A fantastic novel
- Waterstone's Aberystwyth

A fresh, engaging take on the relationship between rich and poor
- Wanderlust

A tale of our time, a powerful condemnation of global inequality from the point of view of a 10-year-old in impossible circumstances... a stunning piece of literary craftsmanship
- Weekly Telegraph

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

We Need New Names is a distinct and hyper-contemporary treatment of the old You Can’t Go Home Again mould, and the book has more than enough going for it to easily graduate from the Booker longlist to the final six
- Upcoming

Bulawayo's novel may scream Africa, but her deft and often comic prose captures memories and tastes, among them the bitterness of disappointment, that transcend borders
- Atlantic

This brilliant novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
- Marie Claire UK

An exceptionally fine novel, as powerful and memorable as Coetzee's magnificent Disgrace... We need new novels like this – authentic, original and cathartic
- Herald

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

Talented and ambitious
- Guardian

A powerful fictional condemnation of global inequality
- Sunday Telegraph

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.

NoViolet Bulawayo

More about NoViolet Bulawayo

PageId: 124198 UserId: 5
This website makes use of cookies. See our Privacy Policy for more information.