About the Author

NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names Photo: www. lyceumagency.com

NoViolet Bulawayo

NoViolet Bulawayo was born in 1981 in Zimbabwe, with the name Elizabeth Zandile Tshele. She attended Njube High School and later Mzilikazi High School while living in Zimbabwe. She moved to Michigan when she was eighteen and adopted the pen name NoViolet Bulawayo to honor both her late mother, Violet, who passed away when NoViolet was eighteen months old, and the Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo.

NoViolet earned her Bachelor’s from Texas A&M University-Commerce and her Master’s from Southern Methodist University. NoViolet then earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Cornell University, where she was rewarded the Truman Capote Fellowship. She was also a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.


We Need New Names has been recognized with LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Fiction Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. Also, her story "Hitting Budapest" won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Image Courtesy of lyceumagency.com


We Need New Names’   Homepage

World Literature ’18

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