Novuyo Rosa Tshuma grew up in Zimbabwe, and has lived in South Africa and the USA. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop (2015), where she was awarded the Maytag and Teaching-Writing Fellowships, as well as a Rydson Award. She served as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Iowa in 2015-2016, was a 2016 Writer-in-Residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and is a recipient of a prestigious 2017 Bellagio Center Literary Arts Residency Award from the Rockefeller Foundation for her novel project House of Stone. House of Stone is forthcoming in June 2018 with Atlantic Books in the UK and in January 2019 with W. W. Norton in the USA. Novuyo earned her BComm in Economics and Finance from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
The recipient of the 2009 Yvonne Vera Award, Zimbabwe's short fiction prize, Novuyo's short fiction has been featured in numerous anthologies, including Where to Now, Short Stories from Zimbabwe and Kwani 08. Her debut collection, Shadows, written during late nights in her undergraduate years in Johannesburg, was published to critical acclaim in 2013 by the South African publisher Kwela. Shadows received rave reviews and was awarded the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize for the best literary work in English. Shadows, which is set in both Zimbabwe and South Africa, has been utilised by scholars to gain a better understanding of Zimbabwe and its diaspora, including the African and intra-African diaspora, as well as ideas of home and belonging, inclusion and exclusion, community and alienation.
In 2014, Novuyo was named as part of Africa39, a project of the Hay Festival and the "selection of 39 writers under the age of 40 who have the potential and the talent to define the trends that will mark the future development of literature in a certain language or region," for which she was featured in The Oprah Magazine.