10 September 2013

Zimbabwean Writer Shortlisted for Major Award

Photo: Facebook/NoViolet Bulawayo
NoViolet Bulawayo

The Zimbabwean author who writes under the name NoViolet Bulawayo has been shortlisted for Britain's most prestigious literary award.

Bulawayo is on a shortlist of six for The Man Booker Prize of 2013 for her novel, "We Need New Names". The shortlist was announced Tuesday and the prize will be awarded on October 15.

Bulawayo was born Elizabeth Tshele in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland. She studied for a Master of Fine Arts degree at Cornell University, where she also received a Truman Capote Fellowship. She is currently Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California.

Her short story, “Hitting Budapest” won the 2011 Caine Prize for African writing.

Describing "We Need New Names", the Man Booker website says the book tells the story of Darling and her friends Stina, Chipo, Godknows, Sbho and Bastard who used to have proper houses with real rooms and furniture but now live in a shanty called Paradise.

"They spend their days stealing guavas, playing games and wondering how to get the baby out of young Chipo’s stomach. They dream of escaping to other paradises – America, Dubai, Europe. But if they do escape, will these new lands bring everything they wish for?" the website says.

Other books on the shortlist are: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta); The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador); The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury); A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate); and The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin).

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