Join Book Discussion Group June 12 for 'We Need New Names'

Prof. Michael Hennessey will lead talk about Bulawayo's novel; group to choose titles for the fall monthly meetings.

The Bucks County Community College Book Discussion Group invites the public to talk about fascinating titles at its monthly meetings. The free, informal gatherings take place from 7:30 to 9 in room 114 of the Rollins Center on the Newtown campus.

The final gathering of the spring takes place Thursday June 12 when the group disucsses We Need New Names, a novel by NoViolet Bulawayo.  

In Bulawayo’s semiautobiographical first novel, 10-year-old Darling describes her life in Zimbabwe during its so-called Lost Decade, and then her life as a teenager in present-day America. Darling and her friends are resilient amidst chaos. She must cope with absentee parents gone to seek jobs and a better life, abusive adults, and murdering bands of self-appointed police in a country gone horribly wrong. When she joins her aunt in America, she discovers a country that has fallen into a different kind of chaos, primarily economic. She and her new family struggle while America fails to live up to her hopes.  

The Book Discussion Group meets on the second Thursday of the month during the academic year on the college’s Newtown campus. Michael Hennessey, the literature professor who convenes the meetings, says group members come from a variety of backgrounds, but share a love of reading.

In fact, the titles are suggested by group members at the last meeting of each semester. This will happen June 12 as the group chooses titles to be discussed when meetings resume from September through December. 

“There’s not much conflict over the titles we choose,” said Hennessey, who has led the group discussions for more than a decade. “We certainly often disagree about the value or worth of some titles and some characters, but it’s always a civil discussion, though sometimes knowing raised eyebrows are flashed discretely.”

Founded in 1988, the Bucks County Community College Book Discussion Group meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month in room 114 of the Rollins Center, located near the Student Life office. The campus is located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. For snow closing information, call 215-968‑8000 or visit the college's homepage. On the radio, the college code for snow closing is 2760.

For more information, contact Michael Hennessey at 215-968-8164 or

Jean Dolan
Assistant Director, Public Relations