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 rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and 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 voices.
They dream 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.
Read Caroline Baum's Review:
Africa is the source of some of the most exciting new voices in fiction and this debut novel is a shining example of energy and originality. Bulawayo is part of the so-called Born Free generation that were promised a bright future following the end of white rule in Zimbabwe. She explodes on to the page with a furious intensity and a fresh, unforgettable voice: her ten year old narrator, Darling. With her gang of friends, Darling roams the streets of Paradise, the shantytown called she calls home. There, they play games, steal guavas, see things no child should. Their own logic prompts some peculiar, often very funny conclusions but their lives are riddled with poverty, illness and violence. Shocking, sad, bracing and raw, this is a sparkling debut that celebrates the power of stories to rise up from squalor and confer dignity and freedom through the imagination. Bulawayo is a prodigious talent.
About the Author
Noviolet Bulawayo was born in Tsholotsho a year after Zimbabwe's independence from British colonial rule. When she was eighteen, she moved to Kalamazoo, Michi-gan. In 2011 she won the Caine Prize for African Writing; in 2009 she was shortlisted for the South Africa PEN Studzinsi Award, judged by JM Coetzee. Her work has appeared in magazines and in anthologies in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship, and she is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California.
"Bulawayo's novel is not just a stunning piece of literary craftsmanship but also a novel that helps elucidate today's world" -- Felicity Capon Daily Telegraph "The challenging rhythm and infectious language of NoViolet Bulawayo's emotionally articulate novel turns a familar tale of immigrant displacement into a heroic ballad. Bulawayo's courage and her literary scope shine out from this outstanding debut" Daily Mail "Darling is 10 when we first meet her, and the voice Ms. Bulawayo has fashioned for her is utterly distinctive - by turns unsparing and lyrical, unsentimental and poetic, spiky and meditative... stunning novel... remarkably talented author" -- Michiko Kakutani New York Times "Often heartbreaking, but also pulsing with colour and energy" -- Kate Saunders The Times (Saturday Review) "Extraordinary" -- Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 3rd June 2013
Dimensions (cm): 13.7 x 21.8 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.328