First Zimbabwean longlisted for Man Booker prize ‘hardly recognised desperate country’ she found after 13 years in USA striking pen name certainly never did an author any harm on a crowded bookshelf. NoViolet Bulawayo passes with flying colours. NoViolet means “with Violet”, in memory of her mother who died when she was 18 months old. Bulawayo is her yearned-for home city in Zimbabwe.”I come from a place of colourful names and identity’s a big part of my creative process,” the 31-year-old, whose passport still says Elizabeth Tshele, explained during a book tour of neighbouring South Africa. “I needed a meaningful identity that could carry the weight of whatever I’m doing. Just being without my biological mother shaped the person I am, the way I see the world.”Bulawayo’s debut novel, not entitled We Need New Names by accident, is the first by a Zimbabwean to be longlisted for the 44-year-old Man Booker Prize and is also in contention for the Guardian first book award. It has announced her as one of Africa’s most luminous literary talents and, it was evident in an interview this week, a eloquent voice among a new generation of Zimbabweans unafraid and trenchant in their criticism of …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books