We Need New Names

Honoree, 5 Under 35 2013

We Need New Names cover
ISBN 9780316230810
Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown
NoViolet Bulawayo author photo by Smeeta Mahanti
NoViolet Bulawayo

NoViolet Bulawayo was born and raised in Zimbabwe and now lives in the United States, where she is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was recognized with a Truman Capote Fellowship. More about this author >

Get This BOOK

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

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.


NoViolet Bulawayo Interviewed at 2013 5 Under 35

NoViolet Bulawayo reading at 2013 5Under35, Intro by Junot Diaz, read by Fiona Maazel