Ten-year-old Darling and her friends navigate their shantytown with the exuberance and mischievous spirit of children everywhere. But they are shadowed by memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the schools closed, before their fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. When Darling escapes to suburban America, she finds that—far from the comforts of her childhood community—America’s abundance is hard to reach, and she reckons alone with the sacrifices and mixed rewards of assimilating.
Channeling the rhythm and vibrancy of the storytellers who raised her in Zimbabwe, Bulawayo tells a potent story of displacement and arrival, at once disarmingly playful and devastatingly candid, with a power all its own.