Zim nominated for Man Booker prize

HARARE - For the first time in the prize’s 45 years a Zimbabwean author has been short-listed for the Man Booker prize.

“This is a dream come true,” NoViolet Bulawayo, the 31-year-old Zimbabwean author of We Need New Names said shortly after the announcement was made yesterday morning.

“It’s hard to say why it got short-listed ... It must be that people were able to connect to it,” said the US-based writer.

The novel is narrated by a 10-year-old girl, Darling, who lives in Paradise, a township in Bulawayo. She and her friends spend their days stealing guavas and roaming around their broken city. Darling later becomes an immigrant to the US, where she lives with her aunt.

Steve Connolly, the managing editor of Random House Struik and the publisher of We Need New Names, said: “Being on the short list recognises her remarkable writing and reminds the world of the outstanding talent of young writers throughout the southern African region.”

Bulawayo celebrated the news last night in Cape Town where she is attending the Open Book Festival.

She will travel to London for the announcement of the winner on October 15.

The other short-listed books are The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta), The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador), The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury), A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate), and The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin).

Comments (2)

This is indeed inspiring, it says Zimbabwe is not all bad news. It is also gratifying to note this is a debut novel and its author only 31..imagine what she will come up with twenty years down the line. Zimbabweans are generally a story telling folk, if one were to go out on a massive hunt for writers in the land, one will be pleasantly surprised...To No Violet, well done for getting this far. One hopes with your success an exposion of talent lying dormant in the land will have cause to reveal itself, thanks again.

gutter poet - 16 September 2013

Waiting for Bob's memoir, I bet it will win this price one day? Heh heh heh

Bingo Wjakata - 17 September 2013

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