An ongoing series in partnership with Faith Adiele. June's book selection is Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo. How to participate: Get a copy of the book, read it in advance of the meeting, and then discuss the book with a group of people interested in reading African literature online via zoom on Thursday June 23rd at 12:00 PM (PDT). Please note the new time and date for this program. After you register you will receive information to join via zoom. If you don’t see an email from MoAD, check your spam or junk mail box.
Glory is available for purchase online at the MoAD bookstore.
You can view a list of all the books previously read and discussed in African Book Club, and if you order through bookshop, MoAD will receive a percentage of the sale: https://bookshop.org/lists/african-book-club
From the award-winning author of the Booker-prize finalist We Need New Names, an exhilarating novel about the fall of an oppressive regime, and the chaos and opportunity that rise in its wake.
NoViolet Bulawayo’s bold new novel follows the fall of the Old Horse, the long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup in November 2017 of Robert G. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president of nearly four decades, Glory shows a country’s imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices that unveil the ruthlessness required to uphold the illusion of absolute power and the imagination and bulletproof optimism to overthrow it completely. By immersing readers in the daily lives of a population in upheaval, Bulawayo reveals the dazzling life force and irresistible wit that lie barely concealed beneath the surface of seemingly bleak circumstances.
And at the center of this tumult is Destiny, a young goat who returns to Jidada to bear witness to revolution—and to recount the unofficial history and the potential legacy of the females who have quietly pulled the strings here. The animal kingdom—its connection to our primal responses and its resonance in the mythology, folktales, and fairy tales that define cultures the world over—unmasks the surreality of contemporary global politics to help us understand our world more clearly, even as Bulawayo plucks us right out of it.
Although Zimbabwe is the immediate inspiration for this thrilling story, Glory was written in a time of global clamor, with resistance movements across the world challenging different forms of oppression. Thus it often feels like Bulawayo captures several places in one blockbuster allegory, crystallizing a turning point in history with the texture and nuance that only the greatest fiction can.
NoViolet Bulawayo is the author of We Need New Names, which was a finalist for the Booker Prize and won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for fiction, and the Etisalat Prize for Literature. Bulawayo grew up in Zimbabwe, and now lives in the United States.