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Ten-year-old Darling and her friends navigate their shantytown with the exuberance and mischievous spirit of children everywhere. But they are shadowed by memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the schools closed, before their fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. When Darling escapes to suburban America, she finds that—far from the comforts of her childhood community—America’s abundance is hard to reach, and she reckons alone with the sacrifices and mixed rewards of assimilating.
Channeling the rhythm and vibrancy of the storytellers who raised her in Zimbabwe, Bulawayo tells a potent story of displacement and arrival, at once disarmingly playful and devastatingly candid, with a power all its own.
NoViolet Bulawayo is the author of We Need New Names (May 2013) which has been recognized with the LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Fiction Selection. We Need New Names was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and selected to the New York Times Notable Books of 2013.