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NoViolet Bulawayo

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NoViolet Bulawayo
Born Elizabeth Tshele
(1981-12-10) December 10, 1981 (age 36)
Education Cornell University, USA
  • Author
Known for Being an Author.
Awards 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing

NoViolet Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean born author known for her debut award winning novel We Need New Names. She is the first black African woman and the first Zimbabwean to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.


She was born Elizabeth Tshele in Zimbabwe's Tsholotsho District on December 10, 1981.[1] Her mother Violet passed away when she was 18 months old.[2]

NoViolet moved to Michigan, USA when she was 18.[3]

In an interview she said the name NoViolet Bulawayo is a combination of her mother's name and the place she was born. She said:

It's from my mother's name, actually. My mother was named Violet. She passed away when I was 18 months old, and she wasn't really spoken about that much. I grew up with a sense of something missing. I decided when I was at a certain age to honor her. "No" in my language means "with." Of course Bulawayo is my city, my hometown. And being in the US for about 13 years without being able to go home made me very homesick. So it was my way of staying connected.


Bulawayo attended Njube High School and later Mzilikazi High School for her A levels. She completed her college education in the US, studying at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and earning bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Texas A&M University-Commerce and Southern Methodist University respectively. In 2010, NoViolet earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Cornell University where she was a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship, and most recently, a lecturer of English. [1] She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she now teaches as a Jones Lecturer in Fiction.[4]

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Bulawayo published her novel We Need New Names in 2013. She has a number of award winning short stories.


  • We Need New Names

Short Stories

  • Happy Birthday Africa President (2014)
  • The Return (2013)
  • Diaspora Christmas (2011)
  • The City: Bulawayo (2011)
  • Hitting Budapest (2010)
  • The Watcher (2009)

Awards & Achievements

Her debut novel We Need New Names (May 2013) has been recognized with the LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award (second place), and the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Fiction Selection. We Need New Names was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and selected to the New York Times Notable Books of 2013 list, the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers list, and others. NoViolet’s story Hitting Budapest won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing.[4] Her stories were also shortlisted for the 2009 SA PEN Studzinsi Award.[3]


Latest Articles Created on Pindula


  1. 1.0 1.1 NoViolet Bulawayo, Book Browse, published: August 31, 2013, retrieved: April 20, 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sabine Peschel, Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo: 'I like to write from the bone', DW, published: July 15, 2015, retrieved: April 20, 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 NoViolet Bulawayo, Foyles, published: No Date Given, retrieved: April 20, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 NoViolet,, Published: No Date Given, retrieved: April 20, 2017