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NoViolet Bulawayo joins Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about her latest novel, Glory, which explores the waning days and political ouster of Robert Mugabe, the authoritarian leader who controlled NoViolet’s home country of Zimbabwe for nearly four decades before he was overthrown in a coup spearheaded by his Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Allegorized as animals — in the style of George Orwell’s Animal Farm — the major players in Mugabe’s ouster and a chorus of citizens tell the story of utopian promise that becomes totalitarian terror, of ruthless political subterfuge and everyday survival, of a country torn between the righting of old wrongs and the almost cyclical production of new ones. At once an allegory of Zimbabwe’s history and a deeply poignant reading of the fractious moment we are all living through, Glory looks at how leaders command and forfeit power, as well as at the lives of ordinary people caught in the roiling waters of politics.
Also, Danielle Lindemann, author of True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, returns to recommend Lorrie Moore’s short story collection Self-Help.