NoViolet back home

BULAWAYO – Award-winning author NoViolet Bulawayo is back home to officially launch her debut novel We Need New Names at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo today.

The launch is being supported by the British Council Zimbabwe, amaBooks Publishers, the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo and Bulawayo Agenda.

NoViolet’s debut novel has already earned international recognition by being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language.

The Tsholotsho-born NoViolet, whose story  Hitting Budapest  won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2011, is the first black African woman to be included on the six-long shortlist of one of the world’s most important literary awards which is now in its 42nd year.

We Need New Names, which has been published in Zimbabwe by Weaver Press, also appears on the Guardian First Book Award long-list.

Amabooks co-director Brian Jones, whose organisation is distributing the book in Bulawayo, and is also involved in the book launch, has promised an engaging event.

“The launch will feature readings from the novel and a discussion between NoViolet and Drew Shaw of the National University of Science and Technology,” said Jones.

“Members of the audience will get the chance to ask NoViolet questions and to buy a signed copy of her book.”

The AmaBooks further explained: “It was through the publication of her story Snapshots in  Where to Now  that first brought us into contact with NoViolet.

“When she suggested that she would like to launch her novel in her home town we were very happy to become involved. The book is a very good read, and is deserving of all its accolades,” said Jones.

Perhaps in honour of NoViolet’s rising status,  Where to Now: Short Stories from Bulawayo, which includes her story, is in the process of being translated into isiNdebele.

The translation of the popular book is being done under a partnership involving the British Council, amaBooks and other book industry players.

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