We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“MotherLove is singing out there. Nobody ever sings like that in Paradise, voice swinging like ripe fruit you can pick and put in your mouth and taste its sweetness. When you hear MotherLove, you know that her shebeen is now open for people to go and drink.”
Such a bittersweet tale, such evocative writing! Bulawayo does one of the better jobs I’ve seen of telling a story through the eyes of a child. Through Darling, we see that the horrible things — the hunger, sickness, poverty, political upheaval and paramilitary violence — are also the things that are home. When they are part of your daily landscape, they just are. When Darling leaves Zimbabwe to live with her aunt in America she discovers that Paradise, isn’t really.