displacement

2013 Shortlisted: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo #4

We_Need_New_NamesRating: 2
We Need New Names

A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo
2013 / 304 Pages

NoVoilet Bulawayo’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel starts off with a lot of promise compared to some of this year’s other contenders.  It is immediately readable with a storyline that promises poignancy and individuality, but like so many other 2013 MBP nominees, We Need New Names ultimately disappoints.

Our narrator, Darling, is ten years old and living in her home country of Zimbabwe when the story opens.  While she and her friends spend their days stealing guavas and wandering the streets, they all long for something more.  Even amidst poverty, hunger, and disease, Darling and her friends are deeply aware of what they’re missing out on.  When they think of America and Western life, they think of Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Lamborghinis.  But as Darling soon finds out, American life isn’t all glitz and glamour.

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2013 Shortlisted: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo #3

We_Need_New_NamesRating: 1
We Need New Names
A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo

2013 / 304 Pages

Kaka

We all have problems.  I get that.  As adults it’s much easier to get caught in the trap of complaining about any given hardship that we encounter or bump in the road that we might face than it is to work towards a realistic solution to whatever the source of our current woe might be.  We’re only human.  We often get stuck in endless cycles of bad behavior, unable to rescue ourselves for torments that are mostly of our own creation.  Sometimes we fail.  Other times we succeed.  Both the highs and the lows can be wild, emotional roller coasters.

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2013 Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #4

HarvestRating: 3
Harvest
A Novel by Jim Crace
2013 / 224 pages

Centuries ago in an unspecified rural location, a small village of farmers spot a mysterious cloud of smoke coming from the outskirts of their land.  This occurrence might not seem extraordinary, and certainly not any cause for alarm, but to the villagers it signifies a change in the air.  It means that outsiders are nearby, perhaps watching them.  Are the owners of this smoke cloud friend or foe?  No one can be sure at first, but when the village master’s dovecote is destroyed by a fire, the fearful community turns to the mysterious smoke cloud for answers.  As they soon learn, the fire belongs to a small family – The Beldams – that has set up camp near the village, and though they may look harmless enough, someone must pay for the crime that has been committed.

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