by NoViolet Bulawayo
Rating: 4 3 Votes
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2022 BOOKER PRIZE From the award-winning author of the Booker Prize finalist We Need New Names, an anthropomorphic blockbuster of a novel that chronicles the fall of an oppressive regime, and the chaotic, kinetic potential for real liberation that rises in its wake. Glory centres around the unexpected fall of Old Horse, a long-serving, tyrannical leader of the fictional country of Jidada, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the precarious path to freedom. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup, in November 2017, of Robert Mugabe—Zimbabwe’s president of nearly four decades—Bulawayo’s bold, vividly imagined novel shows a country imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices who unveil the ruthlessness and cold strategy required to uphold the illusion of absolute power, and the imagination and bullet-proof fortitude to overthrow it completely. As with her debut novel We Need New Names, Bulawayo’s fierce voice and lucid imagery immerses us in the daily life of a traumatized nation, revealing the dazzling life force and irrepressible wit that lies barely concealed beneath the surface of seemingly bleak circumstances. At the centre of this tumult is Destiny, who has returned to Jidada from exile to bear witness to revolution and brings into focus the unofficial history and the potential legacy of the remarkable women who have quietly pulled the strings in this country. The animal kingdom—its connection to our primal responses and resonance in the mythology, folktales, and fairytales that define cultures the world over—unmasks the surreality of contemporary global politics to help us understand our world more clearly, even as Bulwayo plucks us right out of it. Glory is a blockbuster, an exhilarating ride, and crystalizes a turning point in history with the texture and nuance that only the greatest of fiction can.