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NoViolet and Sister

NoViolet Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s star novelist at the moment. The author of We Need New Names has said a lot about how her father is a source of strength and inspiration. Here is a Facebook status from about a year ago where she expresses appreciation for her sister’s love and support. In more ways than one, Bulawayo’s life speaks to the important place of family in the life of a writer.

Watching my beautiful sister struggle through a book. She is not a reader, which kind of sucks, but what humbles me is that she had it in her to respect what I do enough to let me pursue my dream when she didn’t necessarily have meaningful appreciation for the written word, to let me be when I need to be.

I remember I was living with her back when I started writing seriously (she actually moved in to be in my city so I wouldn’t have to pay rent and just focus on my school and little dreams) and I can write an essay about the many ways she came through. Of course I won’t, but the bottom line is that that, right there, is grace.

May I always remember the God in her, may I value her kindness, may I always be grateful, and may I always produce banging work that she’d have a hard time putting down for a change. I suppose this last one will be my true test when the novel comes out in May.

But for now, thank you to my darling Za, who will never read this as she is not on Facebook. and thank you to all the supporters of artists out there; you make our journeys easier. — Bulawayo on Facebook

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “A Sisters Grace, A Writer’s Love: NoViolet Bulawayo’s Tribute to Her Sister Za” Subscribe

  1. John Stewart October 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Appreciation for the differently abled and the differently interested is so rare, a precious quality of empathy and human interest. Families are so diverse! Loving them is hardly an option, but seldom well practiced…. Love this post!

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