Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo shortlisted for The Booker Prize
Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel, Glory, has been shortlisted for The Booker Prize.
Bulawayo, 40, is the youngest author to make a Booker Prize list and the first Black African woman to appear on the Booker list twice. Her debut novel We Need New Names was long-listed for the Booker Prize in 2013.
Her second novel Glory is a political satire inspired by the events of Zimbabwe’s November 2017 coup and the fall of former president Robert Mugabe.
On Bulawayo’s website, the novel is described as following “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”.
It took Bulawayo three years to write Glory, the novel draws inspiration from George Orwell’s Animal Farm and African fables.
Six books were shortlisted this year and Bulawayo joins the other authors who made it onto the shortlist — Percival Everett for The Trees, Shehan Karunatilaka for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeidai, Claire Keegan for Small Things Like These, Alan Garner for Treacle Walker, and Elizabeth Strout for Oh William!
Speaking about the overall shortlisted books, Neil MacGregor, chair of the 2022 judges, said: “The six books are set in different places at different times and are all about events that in some measure happen and concern us all.”
The Booker Prize 2022 judges said Bulawayo’s novel goes beyond Zimbabwe and could relate to other nations.
“Glory is a magical crossing of the African continent with its excesses and its wacky characters. Here, the fable is never far from reality. The particular voice of the storyteller: the way NoViolet Bulawayo describes her characters will make you think that there are no boundaries between our world and the world of animals.”
“This political satire goes beyond Zimbabwe and could relate to nations with despotic regimes around the world. It is also a book about feminism and power sharing,” the judges said.
The Booker Prize is an annual award presented to a single work of fiction in English published in the UK. The winning author receives a cash prize of £50,000 and global recognition. The winner will be announced on October 17 at the Roundhouse in London.