We Need New Names

  • by NoViolet Bulawayo
  • Narrated by Robin Miles
  • 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize
‘To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?’
Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices. They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges – for her and also for those she’s left behind.


What the Critics Say

"Darling is 10 when we first meet her, and the voice Ms. Bulawayo has fashioned for her is utterly distinctive — by turns unsparing and lyrical, unsentimental and poetic, spiky and meditative... stunning novel... remarkably talented author" ( New York Times)
"Bulawayo’s novel is not just a stunning piece of literary craftsmanship but also a novel that helps elucidate today’s world" ( Daily Telegraph)
"We Need New Names is full of life -- you can almost feel the sun on your arms and hear the birds in the trees -- and Bulawayo is certainly one to watch" ( Stylist)
"original, witty and devastating" ( People Magazine)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Poor Narration: Zimbabwean/Carribean accent?

Would you try another book written by NoViolet Bulawayo or narrated by Robin Miles?

No Violet Bulawayo is a fair writer. I don't see anything particularly special about this book. I am a South African reader and stories in this style abound.

I think it's a real shame the producers didn't bother to find a Zimbabwean narrator. Robin Miles sounds half Carribean. The accent is 70% correct, but the pronunciation of the 'a' sound is poor (e.g. laugh is pronounced lorf instead of 'lef') and o is totally incorrect. (e.g. pronounces come as "com" whereas it is pronounced almost the same way as in southern UK English). There must be hundreds of thousands of well educated Zimbabweans looking for work... Why didn't the author read it herself? This aspect of the audiobook totally ruined it for me, as I kept waiting for the next error in pronunciation.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robin Miles’s performances?

Not one where she assumes an African accent!

Did We Need New Names inspire you to do anything?


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- Lorraine

Terrific First Person Voice

I really liked this story but what happened to the reader?
She is amazingly skilled with Nigerian and American accents but somewhere in the middle the voice and accent changes for no apparent reason, then returns, then again.
I should have asked for a refund and bought the novel on paper.
It was like a spliced film. What happened and why?
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- Emily

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks