[ [EBOOK] We Need New Names ] by NoViolet Bulawayo – instanbooks.live

We Need New Names

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This is a book that eally grew on me It starts off following a group of children in Zimbabwe Darling Stina Chipo Bastard and Godknows seemingly innocent children living in a not so innocent environment As a child Darling and friends lived in shanty towns in Zimbabwe after Mugabe s paramilitary police bulldozed down their homes They spent their days stealing guavasgetting into mischief and daydreaming about the typical things African kids do about eating good food and ultimately becoming ich overseas in places such as Dubai and the USAThis story is a sort of coming of age story of Darling What complicates Darling s coming of age story is her moving to Detroit Michigan to live with her auntAs is typical among Africans and also non Africans of course an escape to the West may not be what it seems Added to thatthe struggles and sacrifices they ve had to make We hid our eal names gave false ones when asked We built mountains between us and them we dug ivers we planted thorns we had paid so much to be in America and we did not want to lose it all How is life like for an African immigrant in the USA or elsewhere in the West Bulawayo shows that it s definitely not a bed of oses There are so many stressors including listening to misconceptions about one s land and cultures and having to uickly adapt to a new cultureAdding to the stress is the fact that there are so many illegal immigrants in the States who feel stressed by the threat of deportation looming over themI eally liked the book s cross cultural comparisons of Africa and the USA The linguistic aspects were the most interesting to me Because we were not in our country we could not use our own languages and so when we spoke our voices came out bruised When we talked our tongues thrashed madly in our mouths staggered like drunken men Reading some of the eviews I ve noticed that some people felt disconnected from the second half of the story the part where Darling is in the States I have to be contrary and say that that was the strongest part to me it esonated with me the most Perhaps it is because I have Zimbabwean elatives and I know many African immigrants who have experienced hardships after moving to the States and elsewhere I know a lot of immigrants who experience depression mental health issues and alcoholism due to their immigration I know so many of their stories and I feel that Bulawayo captured them very well I had a spirited chat with a fan of this book She naturally stated I was behaving in a sexist manner and implied with dark tones of voice that I was probably a acist too because I don t think this is a particularly good book and certainly don t think it s Booker worthyRating 275 of fiveThe Publisher Says A emarkable literary debut shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize The unflinching and powerful story of a young girl s journey out of Zimbabwe and to AmericaDarling is only ten years old and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world In Zimbabwe Darling and her friends steal guavas try to get the baby out of young Chipo s belly and grasp at memories of Before Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen before the school closed before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroadBut Darling has a chance to escape she has an aunt in America She travels to this new land in search of America s famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few NoViolet Bulawayo s debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to JM Coetzee while she tells a vivid aw story all her ownMy Review OkaySomeone please I implore you please sit down in front of me where I can see your lips and hear your words and in short simple declarative sentences please please oh please explain to me how the Booker people could NOT shortlist TransAtlantic an amazing novel by an amazing writer but CAN shortlist a novel with this in itI don t like going to church because I don t eally see why I have to sit in the hot sun on that mountain and listen to boring songs and meaningless prayers and strange verses when I could be DOING IMPORTANT THINGS WITH MY FRIENDS PLUS LAST TIME important things with my friends Plus last time went that crazy Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro shook me and shook me until I vomited pink things I thought I was going to die a eal death Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro was trying to get the spirit inside me out they say I am possessed because they say my grandfather isn t properly buried because the white people killed him during the war for feeding and hiding the terrorists who were trying to get our country back because the white people had stolen itGosh never heard that before Never thought of telling a story about an African country s poverty from the PoV of a child before Why no it s just uniue and unprecedentedAnd it s not like it s ever been done before even Dave Eggers not a favorite of mine did it in What is the What and then there s Say You e One of Thembut what is that objection falling from your lips those are BOYS telling their stories not GIRLS telling theirsWhich is it all experience is human or gender creates a special and different elationship to the world Both cannot be true Think carefully before answering that uestion because one answer makes a chink in the armor protecting a very very very touchy euality argumentBut each experience of the world is uniue All should be celebrated Uh huh So you ll be buying a Joyce Meyer book about how she survived incestuous sexual abuse by the healing grace of gawd through Jeebus Oh no Too white church lady conservative all because a Man helped her find esolution and a measure of peace because a girl can t do it herself What happened to all experiences being celebratedThe above oughly encapsulates a call and esponse session I had with a fan of the book She naturally stated I was behaving in a sexist manner and implied with dark tones of voice that I was probably a acist too because I don t think this is a particularly good book and certainly don t think it s Booker worthyThis is not a long book and it s not egardless of the cover the title page and the sales bunf a novel It s interlinked short stories that share a background The author has used a ather flat matter of fact tone to deliver her stories and that s just fine for a story in a collection It s wearing as hell when it s the ONLY tone used It does not lend itself easily to a smooth page it s the ONLY tone used It does not lend itself easily to a smooth page ead It euired of me that I expend mental effort to stay engaged for the 10 12pp the story lastedNow that is something laddies and gentlewomen In only 12pp an author can make someone who has spent most of his life 4854 years eading and savoring many many kinds of books by every conceivable terrestrial human phenotype feel the need to force his attention back to their workI certainly didn t hate the book and I don t think the author should be put in the stocks thence to learn the error of her ways I dislike the book yes but I commend the person who struggled to bring it forth and make it as good as she possibly could imagine it being for doing the work making the effort creating an artwork that ings true in her earsI assume many agree with her I am not one I think it s a decent first book I would pick up another book of NoViolet Bulawayo s to sample if I happened across it Contrast this with my esponse to that Purple Bruise and Yellow Sun woman Chimamanda What s it how fast can I un how far can I hurl how hard can I stomp the next and the previous books she s writtenBut this isn t a particularly good book simply because it s not horrible If you find my copy on the train pick it up and idly leaf through Maybe you ll like it because goodness knows Then we are ushing then we are unning then we are unning and laughing and laughing and laughing ‘To play the country game we have to choose a country Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them Nobody wants to be ags of countries like Congo like Somalia like Ira like Sudan like Haiti an. Didn t This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License Absolutely brilliant This book is sizzling with life Totally underrated The easiest five stars I ve given to a book this year NoViolet Bulawayo s novel We Need New Names is an extension of her Caine prize winning short story Hitting Budapest about a girl coming of age in Zimbabwe and the United States of America and boy am I happy that his literature prize exists and that it enabled her to work some magic on her brilliant short story This ight here shows how important literary prizes and being given an opportunity financially and platform wise are It has been a long time since I ve ead a book that has elicited such visceral emotions from me I laughed I cried This book made me incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time We Need New Names is one of my absolute new favorite books The characters the story the writing it is absolutely mind boggling and amazing what NoViolet Bulawayo has achieved here And by the way the main character absolutely hates Jane Eyre and the stupid decisions Jane makes in that book and I have never elated to a character in my whole life In order to do this ight we need new names Darling the protagonist of NoViolet Bulawayo s debut novel ackets around the Zimbabwean shanty town of Paradise with her friends Chipo 11 mysteriously pregnant and mute cheerful Godknows with shorts so thin his buttocks protrude Sbho the beautiful Bastard the aggressive and Stina the voice of eason Even the grim surroundings can t keep this little gang down for long as they un iot through the streets stealing guavas poking their noses into everything and scrawling on walls We Need New Names is a first person narrative following Darling as she grows up in Zimbabwe until about the age of 10 when she is sent to the US to live with her Aunt Fostalina first in Detroit Michigan DestroyedMichygen and then in Kalamazoo The first half of the book in Zimbabwe is set in the egion called Matabeleland the capital city of which is Bulawayo Neither Zimbabwe nor Bulawayo are mentioned by name in the book nor is the President Robert Mugabe but there are very obvious eferences to him and to the country over the first decade of the 21st century the period during which the book is setEven though this is not a explicitly political novel I found it interesting that with the little knowledge that I had of Zimbabwe under the egime of Robert Mugabe most of which was acuired by eading Gappah s An Elegy for Easterly and Chigumadzi s These Bones Will Rise Again even I was able to put the pieces together and contextualise the novel in its time place and political landscape most notably the obvious eference to the Move the Rubbish campaign which forcibly cleared slum areas across the countryThe place where you grow up is the centre of your world It hardly needs a name In Darling s direct childhood account of her life in Paradise the absence of these defining names seems natural She is telling us about her life not about Zimbabwe or Bulawayo But to little Darling other places states and countries she would prefer to be in are definitely names In fact they are only names emote concepts and vague ideas nothing substantial The eality will be something other than the places imagined From the beginning of the book Darling is dreaming of going to myAmerica to DestroyedMichygen which gloriously seems to be everything that the makeshift slum Paradise in unnamed Bulawayo is not But when her aunt is coming to fetch her and Darling does get to Detroit eality hits hard Americans have only the vaguest idea of Africa and Darling has to face othering in every aspect of her life While Darling adjusts to her new life and the new problems it brings with it underneath it she is aware that something has been broken that she will never be able to mend Leaving your country is like dying and when you come back you are like a ghost eturning to earth oaming around with missing gaze in your eyes Darling is existentially living in America while emotionally in some other construct in her memory One cannot shake the feeling that Darling would ve been in need of therapy or at least a person whom she could feeling that Darling would ve been in need of therapy or at least a person whom she could and pour her heart out And even though over time she manages to settle in in school and find new friends there are times though that no matter how much food I eat I Find The Food Does find the food does for me like I am hungry for my country and nothing is going to fix that Yep nothing is going to fix that We Need New Names eminded me a lot of my own father and how he deals with his displacement in a country that is not his home There were so many moments in this novel that were so well captured and elatable they put a chill down my spine Finally someone found the ight words to describe how some immigrants feel in egards to home language integration Because we were not in our country we could not use our own languages and so when we spoke our voices came out bruised When we talked our tongues thrashed madly in our mouths staggered like drunken men Because we were not using our languages we said things we did not mean what we eally wanted to say emained folded inside Trapped In America we did not always have the words It was only
When Were Were By 
were were by that we spoke in our eal voices When we were alone we summoned the horses of our languages and mounted their backs and galloped past skyscrapers Always we were eluctant to come back and how they act most notably how they act differently how a dormant part of their being is being ekindled as soon as they encounter someone from home I keep watching Uncle Kojo whenever he is with someone from his country everything about him is different his laugh his talk his eating it s like something cuts him open to eveal this other person I don t even know The mo I don t think I ve ever ated a book based mostly on its second last chapter but I think that s what I did here For the majority of this book I thought it was an average ead The first part with the child narrator in Zimbabwe was ok but so scattered and not overly interesting how many times can the kids steal guavas eat guavas get constipated from guavas It felt like a bunch of observations and anecdotes some standalone short stories even not eally a cohesive novel Then the child immigrates to America and grows up and there are some wonderful moments like discovering that you can buy almost anything over the phone that people throw away food egularly that toilets flush by themselves and great scenes and moments that made me smile at my own memories of discovering the supermarkets and the tv channels and people who won t touch a doorknob which I still don t understand Anyway The second last chapter titled How They Lived is a stunning piece of writing that brought all of the second half together for me It should be ead by anyone who is anti immigration or who believes in the sweeping deportation of illegal immigrants Not only is it an agonizing account of how often people go to other countries because it s literally life or death not to steal your jobs or corrupt your world but it is a beautiful aw piece about the hidden pain of those who leave home The knowledge that this land is not your land and never will be and the strangeness and tension that doesn t uite leave A few months ago I went home after a long time and didn t notice at first that my whole demeanor had changed that invisible thing pressing down on me constantly in my new country was suddenly gone and I was light and ok and I could breathe againThat second last chapter knows why you promise your parents you ll be back next year the year after definitely next year next year D not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart'Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise which of course is no such thing It isn't all bad though There's mischief and adventure games of Find bin Laden stealing guavas singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voicesThey dre.
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Or sure and often the parents left behind are thinking of you over here in the abstract they think you ve grown selfish and forgotten them that you don t love them enough to visit not that you have a eal life and a job with barely any vacation time or a spouse or children in school and certainly not that you don t have enough money to go back because everyone in America is ich and so much time goes by and they don t know how much it aches to not go back they don t know because you don t tell them and you don t tell them because you try not to think about it and these misunderstandings fester until one day you call and there are nephews and nieces you don t know and there s nothing to say because you don t even know these people any or you get those middle of the night phone calls which at first seem to be annoying all these years and they still don t emember the time difference but that turn out to be the phone call you knew would come one day and it takes you two days to get home and you miss the funeral or worse you can t leave the country at all because you don t have the papers to get back in Bulawayo writes a small scene in this chapter about putting on loud music so no one will hear and wailing wailing wailing over the grief of a dead parent you never saw againI am the target audience for a book like this so my enthusiasm is skewed I m sure especially since I was lukewarm for the first half of the book Bulawayo is great at scenes and emotive writing but not yet too skilled with structure There were so many ideas that could have and should have had their own book instead of small mentions Child ape and child pregnancy incest AIDS Mugabe s bulldozing starvation suicide and Christian fundamentalism are just a few of the topics crammed in here 35 ounded up Darling is a dispossessed soul in conflict with everything she ever knew She grew up in Buluwayo Zimbabwe but never eally names the country or its leader until in her acknowledgement at the end of the book In truly picturesue prose Darling shares her memories of violence pseudo eligious events headed by Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro on the mountain and numerous incidences of hunger and the joy of their childhood games like Catching Osama Ben Ladin Country game and Vasco Da Gama Cultural practices are embedded in her psyche since birth when a child s umbilical cord is buried in the ground to ensure the new baby s covenant with the soil and the forefathers Blessings are spread with the itual pouring of tobacco and beer on the ground Their shanty town after their affluent home was destroyed in the suburbs was called Paradise and the group of childhood friends constantly went back to an affluent suburb called Budapest to steel guavas It was often their only way of getting something to eat for days on end Her childhood friends and family have endearing names such as Godknows Chipo Stina Sbho Notroubles Bastardhis little sister Fraction Mother of Bones and MessengerExpressions such as I m not talking to you chapped buttocks and I don t need any kaka school to make money you goat teeth and I eally think flat face peeping buttocks Godknows is only saying it to please ugly face Bastard and Hey cabbage ears what are you bathing for ensure that the journey through this book becomes a warm colorful one despite the dark sad undertonesWith her Aunt Fostelina living in America married to a Ganaian Darling gets a chance to escape to a better life although she is an illegal immigrant Her experience of a United Nations of people around her in the USA is shared with wonder and nostalgia She is a member of the generation being born after the colonialist came to steal their country after the fall of colonialism and now the brutal egime of Robert Mugabe People are murdered including naturally born white Zimbabweans the school system collapse and all services crash down with the Chinese moving in to eap the benefits of a destroyed nation in dire poverty and despair The country s leader has been widely accused of ethnic cleansing orchestrating political violence and serial cheating at the pollsMillions of the inhabitants are fleeing in all wind directions to escape their own government troups How They LeftLook at the children of the directions to escape their own government troups How They LeftLook at the children of the 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 just cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are you just cannot be the same Look at them leaving in droves despite knowing they will be welcomed with estraint in those strange lands because they do not belong knowing they will have to sit on one buttock because they must not sit comfortably lest they be asked to ise and leave knowing they will speak in dampened whispers because they must not let their voices drown those of the owners of the land knowing they will have to walk on their toes because they must not leave footprints on the new earth In America she goes to school and does very well But due to the high tuition fees slapped on foreign students she struggles to get a good education and works illegally to make ends meet She feels enslaved in a system that might throw her out at any moment Her soul emains in transition forever since she floats between two worlds which took away her freedom of choice In Zimbabwe SHE HAS NO FUTURE NEITHER IN AMERICA WITH HER has no future neither in America with her status No prosperity awaits her which ever choice she makes After thirteen years she feels disconnected from her old as well her which ever choice she makes After thirteen years she feels disconnected from her old as well new worldMY COMMENTSIt is an insightful ead and an eye opening journey through the true suffering of immigrants I ecommend this ead to anybody who would like to experience the true feelings and thoughts of people in flightONE LITTLE GRIPE The eading was very confusing since dialogue mixed in with the est of the text without any warning It made it very difficult to distinguish between conversations and narrative The method in this madness passed me by At first it worked since a nine year old girl shared her memories but then she becomes a grown up and by the time this tale is told she is already on her way to college yet the confusion emained in the textHowever the underlying sadness of the loss of identity and constant feelings of longing of a displaced person spoke to me The author captures the perpetual mourning of all first generation immigrants very well The detailed descriptions of Darling s environment were excellent I am glad I ead this book about a young girl who had one leg in her motherland which gave her story swag and soul and her other leg in America who gave her the opportunity to tell her story Her journey gave her hope and strength of character NoViolet Buluwayo is the pseudonym of Elizabeth Tshele who changed her name to honor her mother and her home city No Violet means With Violet in NdebeleThe title eflects on her change of perception about her country her new destiny and the changes it all brought in her life A new name calls for new beginnings and to leave the past behind however difficult it seems to be Her generation was born free and cannot blame the devastation on the past but want to address the problems that was created in their own life times The implication is that her generation wants to get id of a leader who uled for too long and destroyed everythingIt was a good ead indeed I loved this book. Am of the paradises of America Dubai Europe where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live For Darling that dream will come true But like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges – for her and also for those she's left behind.