Interview with Jane Garvey on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour
Interview with Tina Daheley on BBC Radio Cultural Frontline
Interview with Kim Chakanetsa on BBC Radio Africa Focus
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Panashe Chigumadzi in Conversation: Meditations on the traumas and triumphs of Zimbabwe's histories
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Atlantic Books, UK June 2018
“I am a man on a mission. A vocation, call it, to remake the past, and a wish to fashion all that has been into being and becoming.”
So says Zamani, the enigmatic and erudite lodger in Abednego and Agnes Mlambo’s home in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Bukhosi, the Mlambo’s teenage son, has gone missing, and his parents fear the worst—and most likely—possibility: that he has been disappeared by the state police. Zamani, preternaturally helpful and almost a part of the family, seems to be the Mlambos’ last, best hope of finding their son. But almost isn't quite enough for Zamani. As he cajoles, coaxes and coerces his hosts into revealing their sometimes tender, sometimes brutal life stories, Zamani steeps himself in borrowed family history, keenly aware that the one who controls the narrative will inherit the future.
Spanning fifty tumultuous years in southern Africa, House of Stone is a deeply smart, wildly inventive and often darkly humorous novel about cuckoos in the family nest and the murderous need to belong. Bursting with wit, rage and seduction, the prodigiously talented Novuyo Rosa Tshuma prosecutes the past and celebrates those on the wrong side of history in this mad and glorious epic about the death of colonial Rhodesia and the bloody birth of modern Zimbabwe.
W. W. Norton, USA January 2019
Pulsing with wit, seduction, and dark humor, House of Stone is a masterful debut that explores the creative—and often destructive—act of history-making.
In the chronic turmoil of modern Zimbabwe, Abednego and Agnes Mlambo’s teenage son, Bukhosi, has gone missing, and the Mlambos fear the worst. Their enigmatic lodger, Zamani, seems to be their last, best hope for finding him. Since Bukhosi’s disappearance, Zamani has been preternaturally helpful: hanging missing posters in downtown Bulawayo, handing out fliers to passersby, and joining in family prayer vigils with the flamboyant Reverend Pastor from Agnes’s Blessed Anointings church. It’s almost like Zamani is part of the family…
But almost isn’t nearly enough for Zamani. He ingratiates himself with Agnes and feeds alcoholic Abednego’s addiction, desperate to extract their life stories and steep himself in borrowed family history, as keenly aware as any colonialist or power-mad despot that the one who controls the narrative inherits the future. As Abednego wrestles with the ghosts of his past and Agnes seeks solace in a deep-rooted love, their histories converge and each must confront the past to find their place in a new Zimbabwe.
Pulsing with wit, seduction, and dark humor, House of Stone is a sweeping epic that spans the fall of Rhodesia through Zimbabwe’s turbulent beginnings, exploring the persistence of the oppressed in a young nation seeking an identity, but built on forgetting.
"An enthralling novel that has it all: pathos, humour, and an insightful engagement with the history of Zimbabwe. With audacious style, Tshuma manages to step over the pitfalls that would swallow a lesser talent, and in so doing announces herself as a huge talent." - Brian Chikwava, author of Harare North
"Tshuma's writing is smart, original, feisty, brutal and gorgeous. She hits the perfect note on every single page in this gripping novel about history, belonging and power. This is the work of an incredible, incredible talent" - Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street
"House of Stone' is that rare thing, a truly original work of art whose author's risk taking pays off on the page. Zamani is a complex, compelling and ambiguous narrator. Utterly stunning." -Tendai Huchu, author of The Maestro, The Magistrate and the Mathematician
"Novuyo Tshuma writes with an equal commitment to Joycean formal inventiveness and political conscience, and the result is absolutely thrilling." - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
"Reading House of Stone is like being punched in the stomach and tickled at the same time." - Ranka Primorac
"Tshuma is our Zamani—feeding us the sweet nectar of historic lyricism, of which we can't get enough." - Books and Rhymes
"..an astounding tapestry of national, familial and personal histories, woven together in one seamless narrative...House of Stone is a remarkable novel, using the intimacy of personal narratives to sculpt the history of Zimbabwe...Tshuma has shown a rare talent for creating blisteringly real characters" - Beth Cochrane, The Skinny
"It is rare to encounter a character who is as terrifying as the above quoted Black Jesus, Tshuma’s masterful creation of inhumane terror...House of Stone is a fascinating blend of history, storytelling, violence, love, patriarchy, and unreliable narration." - Tommi Laine, Helsinki Book Review
"This stunning novel weaves together the personal and national history in a compelling narrative about the bloody birth of modern Zimbabwe." - Rabeea Saleem, Book Riot