NoViolet Bulawayo


Born
in Zimbabwe
October 12, 1981

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NoViolet Bulawayo (pen name of Elizabeth Tshele) is a Zimbabwean author, and Stegner Fellow at Stanford University (2012–2014).
Bulawayo won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "Hitting Budapest," about a gang of street children in a Zimbabwean shantytown.
Her first novel We Need New Names (2013) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, making her the first African female writer to earn this distinction.
She has begun work on a memoir project.

Average rating: 3.72 · 15,126 ratings · 2,043 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
We Need New Names

3.72 avg rating — 15,074 ratings — published 2013 — 37 editions
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Hitting Budapest

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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Snapshots - Nouvelles voix ...

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3.33 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2014
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The Caine Prize for African...

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Il nous faut de nouveaux noms

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His middle name was not Jesus

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African Roar 2011

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3.88 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Svenska Granta 3: Jakt

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3.33 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2014
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1914-Goodbye to All That: W...

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3.79 avg rating — 42 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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“The problem with English is this: You usually can't open your mouth and it comes out just like that--first you have to think what you want to say. Then you have to find the words. Then you have to carefully arrange those words in your head. Then you have to say the words quietly to yourself, to make sure you got them okay. And finally, the last step, which is to say the words out loud and have them sound just right.
But then because you have to do all this, when you get to the final step, something strange has happened to you and you speak the way a drunk walks. And, because you are speaking like falling, it's as if you are an idiot, when the truth is that it's the language and the whole process that's messed up. And then the problem with those who speak only English is this: they don't know how to listen; they are busy looking at your falling instead of paying attention to what you are saying.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

“Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

“Because we were not in our country, we could not use our own languages, and so when we spoke our voices came out bruised.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

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