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

between laughter and tears and pride and anxiety and gratitude and straight-up awe, this book about Zimbabwe’s unpast past and present couldn’t have happened to us at a better moment. what a timely, resonant gift. the name is Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, don’t say you were not told.
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To call this Zimbabwean debut clever or ambitious is to do it a disservice – it is both, but also more than that...Tshuma is incapable of writing a boring sentence...She has managed to not only sum up Zimbabwean history, but also all of African colonial history: from devastating colonialism to the bitter wars of independence to the euphoria of self-rule and the disillusionment of the present. It is an extraordinary achievement
With luminous language, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma explores the treacherous terrain of colonization and decolonization, remembering and forgetting, and love and betrayal. The result is a gripping account of revolution and its aftermath, both for a country and for one man
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House of Stone is a novel of such maturity, such linguistic agility and scope that you’ll scarcely believe it’s a debut. Tshuma has set her formidable talents to no less a subject than the emergence of Zimbabwe from the darkness and tumult of colonialism. It’s fierce and energetic right to the end, and whip smart to boot.
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma has written a towering and multilayered gem. House of Stone is one of the greatest-ever novels about Zimbabwe. What a timely, resonant gift
Easily the best debut I’ve read this year, Tshuma’s novel is both hilarious and horrifying, filled with compassion, anger and despair.. (Zamani) is an unreliable narrator of the kind that deserves to be remembered up there with Humbert Humbert – a more recent comparison of a similarly playful, amoral narrator would be from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathiser



USA Forthcoming in January 2019 with W. W. Norton! - PREORDER NOW

Canada | January 2019, Penguin Random House CA - PREORDER NOW

UK/Commonwealth (Atlantic  Books) | Waterstones | Amazon UK | The Guardian Bookshop | iTunes

Australia/ New Zealand Booktopia | Bookdepository

Zimbabwe Folio Bookshop Harare

South Africa (Penguin Random House SA) | Exclusive Books | Loot

Kenya | Prestige Bookshop


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

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 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

" 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


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 StoneHouse 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.

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Awarded the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize |  Exclusive Books South Africa 

“An impressive and important debut. Novuyo Tshuma captures an unraveling Zimbabwe in its heartbreaking times, and characters in moments of violence and tenderness. Tshuma’s fierce and unsentimental pen doesn’t flinch; she writes in arresting and trenchant prose that shows a gifted artist at work. We will be reading this writer for years to come.”




"Shadows is a staggering work of beauty. Tshuma brings a lightness of touch to tragedy and the reality of life for 'small people' in contemporary Zimbabwe." - Chika Unigwe

"Every so often you pick up a book that calmly kicks you in the stomach, and though it hurts (damn, it hurts), you keep turning the pages because you have to. Shadows is one of those books. Just 25 years old, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is an exciting, urgent and vital new addition to southern African literature with a maturity and wisdom that goes far beyond her age....Shadows reminds us of the power and the importance of fiction to sensitise us to both the suffering and the stoicism of others...To read Shadows is to abandon indifference." - Alexander Matthews, Aerodrome

"There is so much passion and humour and pure life force on every page that when you read the book you will find yourself giddy, dizzy and overwhelmed...Novuyo's Shadows is indeed a beautiful book, evocative of the smells, sights and sounds of Bulawayo and Johannesburg, the cities which have contributed in who she is or becoming, a writer of intelligent fiction." - Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Panorama


"Here is a tale about a dog that chases its unwanted tail, but never hoping to catch it. I have come across similar characters-in-constant-decline in Orlando Patterson's The Children of Sysiphus and Marechera's The House of Hunger. Rasta, the mbanje intoxicated artist at the Bulawayo gallery summarises it all: ‘I am coming my man…Forever coming. I never reach the place where I am going. And this is the whole point. To be forever coming.’ This does not mean that this is a depressing book. Far from it! This story is consistently underlain by a satiric comic strain. We are invited to laugh when we should be crying." - Memory Chirere, kwaChirere

"Seldom does one pick up a book not knowing much about it or its author, not expecting much, only to end up being completely bowled over. Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's Shadows did just that...This award winning fiction writer has her style down pat, enabling her to entrance the reader with her vivid prose and her poignant narrative." - Melany Bendix, Wedellsblog

"Shadows is a splendid incision into contemporary Zimbabwean lives—the 'throbbing mass,' the common folk that 'blur into a collision of colour.' Tshuma brilliantly shades the bitter, painful and incredible realities of contemporary Zimbabwe and brings into the light the lives lived in the 'shadows'." - Suvasree Karanjai, Wasafiri

"...brutal, gut-wrenching, heart-warming and funny...The breathless quality to these deeply unsettling stories depicts the psychic and physical rupture that is the common experience of many Zimbabweans...Let us hope this courageous author is well nurtured at the Iowa writing programme. Her cutting insights are told in a lovely voice. Her unrushed unfolding will be well worth the wait." - Liesl Jobson, Business Day SA

"Shadows marks the entry of an important new Zimbabwean writer, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, onto the literary scene." - Rob Gaylard, Sunday Independent SA