My reading resolution for this year is to read as many books as I can get my hands on from other continents, except Europe. We need new names is one of these books and I found it after doing a bit of online research on the best fiction books in Africa.

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We need new names is the story of Darling, a 12 year-old girl and her friends. It’s the story of people living in a ghetto in Zimbabwe, called Paradise, with violence, with diseases, with hunger, with suffering. This book gives you all the insights you need to know about the critical situation in countries like Zimbabwe. It even includes stories about how Chinese come over to exploit Africa’s natural resources.

But still, in all this chaos, that seems to be without escape, there are these children. Innocent, whose only wish is to eat fresh fruits all day and wonder around freely and play games. Their dialog is so vivid and full of humor. They are perfectly described to emphasize the way children think, how they understand what’s happening around them and what their dreams are.

The second part of the book places Darling in America, in Detroit, after being sent there by her mother to live with her aunt and have a better life. Everything changes all of a sudden, you have all these good living conditions, you have technology, you have access to education and health-care.

NoViolet Bulawayo describes everything that’s happening in the book in a brilliant language, very vivid and sometimes funny, although the realities presented are harsh and intense.

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