Zimbabwean writer Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, the author of House of Stone, a novel published by Atlantic Grove in 2018 recently had her book listed by Oprah magazine as one of the “10 newly-released books that will give you an excuse to stay indoors this winter.”
Novuyo took to Twitter to express her joy, “Oprah Magazine just making my day today. Thank you. My mum and I used to watch Oprah religiously growing up. So being featured here is super super cool—there’s a nod in #HouseofStone where Mama Agnes implements relationship advice she gets from watching Oprah.”
House of Stone, Novuyo’s debut novel was described by Nigerian novelist Helon Habila: “To call [House of Stone] 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 for a first novel.”
“A man cannot shape his own life while still under the thumb of History. History has been known to consume men whole, to make out of them its playthings.
I shan’t be History’s plaything!”—Zamani #HouseofStone#Zimbabwe Stuck in the long arc of #History pic.twitter.com/ybKvpO4Qai
— Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (@NovuyoRTshuma) January 19, 2019
In 2007, Novuyo met with Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who signed a copy of Half of a Yellow Sun for her. At the time, Novuyo “was a blurry bundle of dreams in Zimbabwe, finding my writing way.” 11 years later, Novuyo would sign a copy of House of Stone for Chimamanda. Novuyo joins a list of powerful Zimbabwean writers like Tendai Huchu, Petina Gappah, Yvonne Vera, Tsitsi Dangaremba, Brian Chikwava and NoViolet Bulawayo amongst others.
Novuyo’s novel also explores the Gukurahundi massacres carried out by the Zimbabwe National Army from 1983 to 1987. With the recent attacks on civilians by the military, Novuyo fears the country might be going through another Gukurahundi.