NoViolet Bulawayo will speak about her debut novel We Need New Names (May 2013), which has received numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Pen/Hemingway Award, and the Etisalat Prize for Literature. We Need New Names is the story of ten-year-old Darling and her friends navigating 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.
Bulawayo earned her master’s degree at Cornell University where she was a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she now teaches as a Jones Lecturer in fiction. Bulawayo grew up in Zimbabwe.
A book sale and signing will follow. Sponsored by the Office of Cultural Events