Like the main character of her debut novel, We Need New Names
, NoViolet Bulawayo is brave, scrappy, and not likely to back away from a fight. In these linked stories, she tackles - among other issues - poverty, political oppression, corruption, violence, women's rights, the class systems of Zimbabwe and the United States, and the problems of alienation at home and in a foreign land. The novel begins in Zimbabwe in 2008, during the months surrounding the country's failed elections and post-election violence. In less skillful hands, such a thematically dense work could easily come across as self-pitying or mired down in the bogs of the "African tragedy." Bulawayo confronts these challenges by giving us Darling, a no-nonsense ten-year-old narrator who stomps through life with a heart-wrenching, naked innocence.
It is easy to see why the first story, "Hitting...
Beyond the Book
How Emmanuel Sigauke Found African Literature and Founded a Magazine
A conversation between Naomi Benaron and Emmanuel Sigauke
Emmanuel Sigauke is a Zimbabwean writer. He is an English professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento California and is the editor of the on-line Munyori Literary Journal which has published the work of both NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names and Naomi Benaron.
Naomi Benaron: For my first question, I would like to know something of your own history as a writer in...