Author back home with new offer Novuyo Tshuma (left) and Memory Chirere

Beaven Tapureta Own Correspondent
Award-winning Zimbabwean novelist Novuyo Rosa Tshuma last week flew back home from the USA to launch her new and second work of fiction titled “House of Stone” (2018, Atlantic Books) in Bulawayo and Harare.

The first launch was held in Bulawayo, her birthplace, at the NUST American Space where she also had a one-on-one literary talk with Butholezwe Nyathi. After the Bulawayo event she was in Harare at Theatre in the Park, acquainting readers with her new book through a conversation with writer and critic Memory Chirere.

The gathering of friends, writers and readers, at Theatre in the Park enjoyed the afternoon which they spent probing Tshuma’s novel, with questions and comments that brought out its style of approach to the historical subject matter and other issues.

“House of Stone” is voluminous, with more than 300 pages, and divided into Book One to Three. Chirere said honestly this is the best book he has read this year and in his conversation with the author, he delineated the main characters and with vividness, read out a passage that one could see the ‘theatre’ in the scene, displaying ‘a gifted artist at work’ as fellow writer NoViolet Bulawayo noted about the book.

The book’s title, on the face of it, brings back memories of Dambudzo Marechera’s “House of Hunger”. Yet Tshuma’s metaphoric use of ‘house of stone’, although known to be the literal translation of ‘Zimbabwe’, seems complex as it also not only conveys the sense of ‘unfeeling’ between the characters but also may subtly suggest conflicts between eras or even within an individual.

Tshuma, whose first book “Shadows” gave her regional recognition as one of Africa’s 39 Finest Writers (Oprah Winfrey Magazine) in 2014, said that her wish is to get the new book to be read in Zimbabwe and beyond.

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