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Glory
Cover of Glory
Glory
A Novel
LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE
“Manifoldly clever…brilliant… ‘Glory’ is its own vivid world, drawn from its own folklore. This is a satire with sharper teeth, angrier, and also very, very funny.” —Violet Kupersmith, The New York Times Book Review
"Genius."—#1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds
From the award-winning author of the Booker-prize finalist We Need New Names, an exhilarating novel about the fall of an oppressive regime, and the chaos and opportunity that rise in its wake.

NoViolet Bulawayo’s bold new novel follows the fall of the Old Horse, the long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup in November 2017 of Robert G. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president of nearly four decades, Glory shows a country's imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices that unveil the ruthlessness required to uphold the illusion of absolute power and the imagination and bulletproof optimism to overthrow it completely. By immersing readers in the daily lives of a population in upheaval, Bulawayo reveals the dazzling life force and irresistible wit that lie barely concealed beneath the surface of seemingly bleak circumstances.
And at the center of this tumult is Destiny, a young goat who returns to Jidada to bear witness to revolution—and to recount the unofficial history and the potential legacy of the females who have quietly pulled the strings here. The animal kingdom—its connection to our primal responses and its resonance in the mythology, folktales, and fairy tales that define cultures the world over—unmasks the surreality of contemporary global politics to help us understand our world more clearly, even as Bulawayo plucks us right out of it.
Although Zimbabwe is the immediate inspiration for this thrilling story, Glory was written in a time of global clamor, with resistance movements across the world challenging different forms of oppression. Thus it often feels like Bulawayo captures several places in one blockbuster allegory, crystallizing a turning point in history with the texture and nuance that only the greatest fiction can.
LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE
“Manifoldly clever…brilliant… ‘Glory’ is its own vivid world, drawn from its own folklore. This is a satire with sharper teeth, angrier, and also very, very funny.” —Violet Kupersmith, The New York Times Book Review
"Genius."—#1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds
From the award-winning author of the Booker-prize finalist We Need New Names, an exhilarating novel about the fall of an oppressive regime, and the chaos and opportunity that rise in its wake.

NoViolet Bulawayo’s bold new novel follows the fall of the Old Horse, the long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup in November 2017 of Robert G. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president of nearly four decades, Glory shows a country's imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices that unveil the ruthlessness required to uphold the illusion of absolute power and the imagination and bulletproof optimism to overthrow it completely. By immersing readers in the daily lives of a population in upheaval, Bulawayo reveals the dazzling life force and irresistible wit that lie barely concealed beneath the surface of seemingly bleak circumstances.
And at the center of this tumult is Destiny, a young goat who returns to Jidada to bear witness to revolution—and to recount the unofficial history and the potential legacy of the females who have quietly pulled the strings here. The animal kingdom—its connection to our primal responses and its resonance in the mythology, folktales, and fairy tales that define cultures the world over—unmasks the surreality of contemporary global politics to help us understand our world more clearly, even as Bulawayo plucks us right out of it.
Although Zimbabwe is the immediate inspiration for this thrilling story, Glory was written in a time of global clamor, with resistance movements across the world challenging different forms of oppression. Thus it often feels like Bulawayo captures several places in one blockbuster allegory, crystallizing a turning point in history with the texture and nuance that only the greatest fiction can.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    Independence

     

    RALLY

     

    When at last the Father of the Nation arrived for the Independence Day celebrations, no earlier than 3:28 in the afternoon, the citizens, congregated at the Jidada Square since morning, had had it with waiting; they could've razed the whole of Jidada with their frustration alone, that is, if Jidada had been any other place. But the land of farm animals wasn't any other place, it was Jidada, yes, tholukuthi Jidada with a -da and another -da, and just remembering this simple fact was enough to make most of the animals keep their feelings inside like intestines. The fierce sun, said by those who know about things to have been part of His Excellency's cheerleading squad by decree, had been up glaring since midmorning, doling out forceful rays fit for a ruler whose reign was nearing all of-not one, not two, not three, but four solid decades.

     

    The Jidada Party regalia worn by most of the animals for the occasion-jackets and shirts and skirts and hats and scarves in various colors of the flag of the nation, many of the articles embossed with the face of His Excellency-trapped the sun's terrible heat and made the wait even more unbearable. But not all of the animals were going to stand for the torturous wait-some indeed started to leave, grumbling about having work and things to do, about places to go to, about the leaders of other lands who arrived at things right on time like God's infallible machete. These disgruntled animals started as just a smattering-two pigs, a cat, and a goose-but the faction very quickly grew to a respectable mass, and, emboldened by both their number and the sound of their own voices, the dissidents headed for the exit.

     

    At the gate the group found themselves face-to-face with the Jidada Defenders, tholukuthi the dogs appropriately armed with batons, ropes, clubs, tear-gas canisters, shields, guns, and such typical weapons of defending. It was a known fact all over the nation and beyond its borders that Jidada Defenders were by nature violent, morbid beasts, but it was especially the presence of the notorious Commander Jambanja, distinguishable in his signature white bandanna, that made the dissenters promptly turn around and retrace their steps, miserable tails between their legs.

     

    ENTER THE FATHER OF THE NATION: THE RULER WHOSE REIGN IS LONGER THAN THE NINE LIFE SPANS OF A HUNDRED CATS. ALSO THE LONGEST-SERVING LEADER IN A CONTINENT OF LONG-SERVING LEADERS, AND INDEED IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

     

    Now His Excellency's car wove its way through the throngs with the slowness of a hearse, and the animals fell over themselves like intoxicated frogs, hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary Father of the Nation. At this point the sun, upon seeing arrive the leader who was decreed by God himself to rule and rule and keep ruling, a leader who'd in turn decreed the very sun to head his cheerleading squad, took a deep, deep breath and thoroughly blazed to impress. A select group of dignitaries-all mals, most of them old-accompanied His Excellency on hind legs. Accompanying the accompanying dignitaries were decorated Defender leaders in military gear, colorful embroidered ropes cinched at the waist, caps pulled low, shiny constellations of medals glinting on solid chests, star insignias bouncing off the shoulders, white gloves on front paws; these were the generals, tholukuthi the true lynchpin of His Excellency's rule. Throughout the square, animals whipped out their phones and gadgets to take pictures and videos of the procession of power.

     

    BEHOLD, HIM. YES, THOLUKUTHI HIM AND ONLY HIM HIMSELF. THE ANOINTED ONE. THE...

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2021

    The long wait is over after the 2013 publication of the multi-award-winning, Man Booker Prize finalist We Need New Names, which led to Bulawayo's being given National Book Award 5 Under 35 honors. In her new book, Old Horse, the oppressive leader of the fictional country of Jidada, finally plummets from grace, and the country's animal kingdom seeks liberation in a story that aims to show us that power can be crushed as long as those who counter it remain smart, imaginative, and relentlessly optimistic. Meanwhile, Destiny returns from exile to bear witness to the country's makeover and to record the role women have long played in Jidada's survival.

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 3, 2022
    Bulawayo (We Need New Names) grapples with political upheaval in a fictional African country with this fierce and playful work featuring animal characters. Jidada, a former colony, gained its independence during the Liberation War and has since been ruled by the ruthless “Father of the Nation,” a horse who has maintained his 40-year reign through rigged elections and the persecution of “Dissidents.” As such, when he is ousted and succeeded by vice president Tuvy Delight Shasha, another “old horse,” many Jidadans become hopeful, believing the latest revolution will bring prosperity to their nation. But when an increasingly totalitarian Tuvy begins to misuse the country’s wealth and implement corrupt policies to safeguard his power, Jidadans start to wonder whether his government will be just like his predecessor’s, or worse. The consequences of the new government’s abuses reverberate in stories of Jidadan families, like that of Destiny Lozikeyi Khumalo, a young goat whose reunion with her mother after a 10-year exile prompts a revelation that will irrevocably alter the course of both Destiny’s and Jidada’s fate. Throughout, Bulawayo keenly displays the perspectives of political players and the civilians who bear the brunt of their violence. With satire that feels necessary and urgent, Bulawayo brings clarity to a murky political morass. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2022
    A nation of animals is stirred to revolt in the face of decadeslong dictatorial rule. Bulawayo's second novel--following We Need New Names (2013)--opens with the decline of Old Horse, the longtime authoritarian leader of the African nation of Jidada who is, literally, an old horse. His regime is out of touch when it isn't actively corrupt--a (pig) crony priest emptily sings his praises, his (canine) generals support his hard-line attitude, and his (donkey) wife turns a deaf ear to protesters. When Old Horse dies, the menagerie of citizens is cautiously hopeful for reform--cats, pigs, and other disgruntled creatures tweet out their fury, echoing contemporary themes of frustration with right-wing, egotistical leaders. (The unnamed U.S. president is a "Tweeting Baboon.") Of course, the new horse is the same as the old horse: Tuvius, aka Tuvy, arrives with plenty of rhetoric about a "New Dispensation," but he quickly proves himself greedy, egotistical, and belligerent toward all who cross him. A counterweight comes in the form of Destiny, a goat and writer raised on memories of the old regime's violence. Bulawayo's use of animals gives the story a bit of quirkiness, and she writes sinuous prose rich with repetition and intensifiers that conjure a mood of an epic folktale. But the characters are so fundamentally human in behavior and action--tweeting, jet-setting, slaughtering--that the setup scarcely qualifies as an allegory. And for a novel of such breadth, its arc is straightforward; Tuvy is so cartoonishly dim, Destiny so straightforwardly heroic, and Jidadans' rhetoric so well-worn ("What do we have to do in order for our bodies, our lives, our dreams, our futures, to finally matter?") that the conclusions feel overly familiar despite its offbeat conceit. A lyrical if rote tale of dominance and resistance.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2022
    From the award-winning author of We Need New Names (2013), Glory centers on a fictional country, Jidada, inhabited and ruled by anthropomorphic animals. Jidada's leader is Old Horse, a tyrant publicly praised by his subjects but privately bemoaned as failing and past his prime. Reigning over a country suffering from a treacherous economy, blackouts, and a seething underbelly of discontent, Old Horse's downfall is imminent and inevitable. A power vacuum ensues, giving rise to Tuvy, also a horse and vice president in Old Horse's regime. Although Tuvy promises a new Jidada, he is patriarchal, misogynist, and ruthless. Seeds of rebellion once again disrupt Jidada, and as Tuvy's Defenders--dogs charged with protecting Tuvy's regime--defect, refusing their charge to safeguard the tyrant, an opening is created for revolution and true liberation. Will the downtrodden citizen-animals of Jidada have the strength and resilience to seize a new opportunity to create equity and freedom for all? Bulawayo's second novel mirrors events in Zimbabwe's history, Robert Mugabe's decades-long reign, and the colonial and post-colonial influences of the West and China in Africa.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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