cover image Glory


NoViolet Bulawayo. Viking, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-0-5255-6113-2

Bulawayo (We Need New Names) grapples with political upheaval in a fictional African country with this fierce and playful work featuring animal characters. Jidada, a former colony, gained its independence during the Liberation War and has since been ruled by the ruthless “Father of the Nation,” a horse who has maintained his 40-year reign through rigged elections and the persecution of “Dissidents.” As such, when he is ousted and succeeded by vice president Tuvy Delight Shasha, another “old horse,” many Jidadans become hopeful, believing the latest revolution will bring prosperity to their nation. But when an increasingly totalitarian Tuvy begins to misuse the country’s wealth and implement corrupt policies to safeguard his power, Jidadans start to wonder whether his government will be just like his predecessor’s, or worse. The consequences of the new government’s abuses reverberate in stories of Jidadan families, like that of Destiny Lozikeyi Khumalo, a young goat whose reunion with her mother after a 10-year exile prompts a revelation that will irrevocably alter the course of both Destiny’s and Jidada’s fate. Throughout, Bulawayo keenly displays the perspectives of political players and the civilians who bear the brunt of their violence. With satire that feels necessary and urgent, Bulawayo brings clarity to a murky political morass. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Mar.)