Lesson 1 (from "Hitting Budapest")
We Need New Names is the debut novel of expatriate Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo. The novel is considered semi-autobiographical based on the fact that it follows a protagonist who, like Bulawayo, grows up in Zimbabwe and immigrates to the United States to pursue a life free from the political and social turmoil of her homeland. The first chapter, “Hitting Budapest,” introduces the reader to protagonist and narrator Darling and the setting of Paradise, Zimbabwe. This lesson examines the author’s establishment of setting, narrative style, and historical context. Students will research and discuss Zimbabwe’s politics, culture, and history during the past 50 years.
Research Activity: Conduct independent research on Zimbabwe’s politics, culture, and history during the past 50 years. Who is in power in Zimbabwe today? When did this individual come to power? What led to his rise in power?
Group Assignment: Assign students to...
Aligned to the following Common Core Standards:
- ELA-Reading: Literature RL.9-10.1, 9-10.6, 9-10.10, 11-12.1, 11-12.3, 11-12.10
- ELA-Writing W.9-10.8, 11-12.8
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