Glory | NoViolet Bulawayo

Books | Review

fiction | contemporary | novel | satire

First publised 2022

The Old Horse is the president of the fictional country known as Jidada, with a -da and another -da. In a coup d'etat instigated by his vice-president, Tuvy, he is overthrown by another horse who replaces the Old Horse's autocratic rule with exactly the same autocratic rule. The citizens of Jidada had thought that with the Old Horse gone, they would be able to restore Jidada to its former glory and regain their freedoms. Disillusioned with Tuvy's rule, where things go from bad to worse with more corruption, poverty and brutality at the hands of the Defenders, a pack of vicious dogs, the civilians rise up and start a revolution.

The novel ends on a note of positivity and optimism. After the Defenders kill Destiny, the civilians of Jidada have had enough and they revolt, taking revenge against the dogs who have murdered their symbol of hope. This eventually leads to the Defenders defecting and joining their fellow animals in the revolution that overthrows the Tuvy regime, bringing back the long-awaited democracy and freedom they craved for so many decades.

Inspired by George Orwell's timeless masterpiece, Animal Farm, in which all of the characters are animals, Glory is a darkly satirical novel, that fictionalises the fall of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe in 2017. Mugabe was replaced in a coup by his former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, and much like Tuvy in the novel, Mnangagwa continued (and continues to this day) with Mugabe's vicious dictatorship, violently suppressing demonstrations and allowing corruption among the wealthy to go on unchecked, while ordinary citizens suffer from high unemployment and poor infrastructure.

My Verdict: What I liked most about this book was Bulawayo's use of repetition, with phrases repeated throughout the book to tie the story together. Whole pages are taken up with reiterations, giving her carefully chosen words more power. A fascinating and imaginative book that not only taught me a lot about Zimbabwe, but introduced me to an incredible new writer.

Review Award | 5/5 - One of my favourite books of 2022!

Posted 01.06.2022

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