zimbabwean literature

Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo: ‘I like to write from the bone’

Writing about Zimbabwe while living in the US has changed her language and her identity, says NoViolet Bulawayo, the author of “We Need New Names.”

I wrote the novel at a specific time of my country’s history. Recent history, I should say, when the country was coming undone, due to failure of leadership. And by saying “we need new names” I was speaking for the need for us as a people to sort of re-imagine, rethink ourselves, rethink our way, think about where we were going. We needed new ways of seeing things, new ways of doing things, new leadership. It was basically a call for renewal. But it should not be confined to Zimbabwe. I believe you can translate across borders. 

All the water has dried. There is no water in the river. A woman who is alone stands on solid ground, on a dry riverbed. My own solid ground to match the voice which is no longer in my arms, whispering my name. Today I turn my arm and listen to all the silence in my bones. I hear something beautiful. I see myself die in a storm.
—  Yvonne Vera, Butterfly Burning