What does Delphine's mother tell Delphine and her sisters to call her in One Crazy Summer?

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I didn't care what Cecile called her new self or how much dust she blew off paths with her poems. She was Cecile Johnson to me, and I didn't appreciate her so-called new self or her new name.

Delphine's mother, who abandoned Delphine and her sisters when they were very...

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I didn't care what Cecile called her new self or how much dust she blew off paths with her poems. She was Cecile Johnson to me, and I didn't appreciate her so-called new self or her new name.

Delphine's mother, who abandoned Delphine and her sisters when they were very young, corrects Delphine when she tries to call her by her birth name Cecile, telling Dephine and her sisters that she now likes people to refer to her by her poet name Nzila. She says it means the path in Yoruba (a West African language), because her "poems blow dust off surfaces to make clear and true paths."

Delphine is not impressed. In her view, a name is important and not something you can just throw away when you grow tired of it. To Delphine it perhaps symbolises how easily she thinks her mother left them in the first place. It is only later in the novel that she starts to understand why her mother went away.

It is at that point that she begins to feel comfortable thinking of her mother as Nzila and even her sisters by the African names her mother originally gave them:

Delphine, Vonetta, Afua, Nzila. Some names made up. Some not. Did it matter what they really meant, or where Cecile got them from, as long as she gave them to us and to herself?

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