April 5, 2013

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo



Publication Date: May 2013
Categories: Coming of Age, Africa
Source: Netgalley

Description:

Darling is only 10 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.

My Thoughts:

What an amazing debut. I've listed this as my favorite fiction for March and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be one of my favorites for all of 2013.

About the author
Darling and her friends are both innocent and jaded, as only children in a war-torn country can be. They are cheerful while stealing guavas to fill their empty bellies, even while knowing that those same fruits will only make them sick. The very young Chipo is pregnant. In their childishness, her friends believe that they can  get the baby out so that she can run and play with them once more.

Darling is able to immigrate to America, to "Destroyedmichygan". Her guilt at leaving her friends and family behind is palpable. Unfortunately, life in America isn't exactly what she had hoped for.

We Need New Names is rich, honest, and stirring. Bulawayo is an author to watch.

24 comments:

  1. You've done it again with another book with such an interesting setting and plot. I'll go back to my TBR list. You need to stop. My TBR list is never going to be manageable. :)

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    1. I don't know whether to apologize or laugh ;) LOL <~~ You can see that I decided!

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  2. This looks great! I'm putting it on my wish list right now!

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    1. Good to hear Melinda. I have a feeling that this book is going to do very well :)

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  3. Thanks for reviewing this book, it's new to me and sounds awesome. It's gone straight on my wishlist!

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    1. I'm glad to hear it! I think you'll like it!

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  4. It's so exciting to find an amazing author just making their debut and think about what they could write in a whole career! Thanks for sharing your love of this book. :)

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    1. I know!! I can't wait to see what she does next! :D

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  5. Wow, We Need New Names sounds like an emotional book. Great review.

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    1. It made me laugh and weep...cliched but true :) Thanks Naida!

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  6. Oh, must read it. I'm guessing "Destroyedmichygan" is Detroit? I grew up and lived in the area until about five years ago, so I can't help but want to read anything connected to it.

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    1. You'd definitely find that part interesting then. The way she describes the cold weather is amazing!

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  7. That thought of the baby, so innocent, and considering the age, really understandable. I think I'll have to look for this one myself.

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    1. I hope you do Charlie, it's a wonderful read. :)

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  8. She moves to Detroit!I will have to read this, being a Detroit area girl myself.

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  9. This does sound very good. I had heard that Bulawayo is a great author and I really want to read her work.

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    1. I hope you do Brian. I think you'll be very pleased :)

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  10. To list this as one of your favorites says a lot. I'll have to pay close attention to this one, although it sounds heartbreaking.

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    1. It isn't what I'd call a happy read. At the same time, there are real moments of humor in it :)

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  11. Isn't Bulawayo also the capital of Zim?! :)
    Sounds like a lovely read.

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  12. Great review! I can't wait to read this!

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    1. It's an incredible read and I know you'll love it! Ok, I can't predict the future but I have a good feeling ;)

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