"A remarkable feat... Ambitious and ingenious... Zamani is elusive and conniving, earnest and manipulative, brutal and desperate."

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2020 Lannan Foundation Fellowship Award

★ Winner - 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award

★ Winner - 2019 Bulawayo Arts Award for Outstanding Fiction

*Shortlisted - 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction

*Shortlisted - 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize

*Shortlisted - 2020 Balcones Fiction Prize

*Longlisted - 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize
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.

Amid the turmoil of modern Zimbabwe, Abednego and Agnes Mlambo’s teenage son has gone missing. Zamani, their enigmatic lodger, seems to be their only hope for finding him. As he weaves himself closer into the fabric of the grieving community, it’s almost like Zamani is a part of the family…

Zamani—one of the great unreliable narrators of contemporary world literature—knows that the one who controls the narrative inherits the future. As Abednego wrestles with alcoholism and Agnes seeks solace in a deep-rooted love, each must confront the burdens of history. Written with dark humor, wit, and seduction, 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.



"A towering and multilayered gem...one of the greatest-ever novels about Zimbabwe."
"A gripping account of revolution and its aftermath, both for a country and for one man."
"Written with biting humor, fierce insight as well as tenderness...Be prepared to laugh, shed tears and marvel."

Yiyun Li, Vanity Fair

Viet Thanh Nguyen

NoViolet Bulawayo

“Remarkable ... In his excess, [Zamani] has more in common with Saleem Sinai, the narrator of Salman Rushdie’s classic “Midnight’s Children”... in his usurpation of facts and stories [he] resembles Charles Kinbote in Vladimir Nabokov’s “Pale Fire.” - Dinaw Mengestu, The New York Times

“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.” - NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names

“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.” - Helon Habila, author of Oil on Water, for the Guardian

“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.” - Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

“Written with biting humor, fierce insight, as well as tenderness towards each of the characters, House of Stone captures Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and a broader political environment both geographically and historically. Be prepared to laugh, shed tears and marvel at this young author’s debut.” - Yiyun Li, Vanity Fair

"Perhaps one of the most underrated novels of the year is Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s House of Stone an expansive tale that celebrates a nation through a central character. Were it written about any western country, this novel would have been much talked about, but we are talking Zimbabwe here. It is an ambitious and daring novel from a promising writer." - Chigozie Obioma, the Guardian

“House of Stone is the novel devastated Zimbabwe had to have written. Now Novuyo Tshuma has written it. Bayethe to her scintillating talent! In the most original and fearless prose I’ve read in years, Tshuma’s scheming narrator, Zamani, reveals the personal and political disintegration that was Zimbabwe’s undoing.” - Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of Nervous Conditions

"House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is a literary, historical page-turner - a tall order that Tshuma achieves in this exceptional debut. There are several gasp-out-loud twists and a narrator who charms and offends in equal measure, even as the novel thoughtfully examines a brutal period in Zimbabwe’s history." - Lesley Nneka Arimah, the Guardian

“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.” - Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

“Tshuma’s House of Stone is a devastating and inviting piece of fiction that is earning its raves as a beyond notable first novel…Her book slips like sands through fingers through time and voice, masterfully condensing the history of Zimbabwe to the point where the back story is informative and provocative but not cumbersome…Tshuma deftly tells a story of colonization and decolonization both with a wide focus on the nation and a tight focus on a few people. The latter serves as a tragic microcosm of the former…Her balance between the tightest and the broadest focus is admirable and efficient.” - Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle

“No story I have read yet tells the story of marginalization of a people in Zimbabwe quite as well as House of Stone does. In weaving fact and fiction as effortlessly as she does, Tshuma makes us believe the truth of E.L.Doctorow that “There’s really no fiction or nonfiction; there is only narrative.” And what a painful narrative skillfully told House of Stone is. If Tshuma never writes another book (I really hope she does) she has entrenched her place into the history of literature with this book. A must read for lovers of history and good writing.” - Zukiswa Wanner, author of London-Cape Town-Joburg

"Tshuma’s debut novel is an astounding tapestry of national, familial and personal histories, woven together in one seamless narrative...The strength of [Zamani’s] voice carries House of Stone from one deception to the next, yet the heart of the novel remains a tender exploration of what it is to have firm roots in both family and country. House of Stone is a remarkable novel, using the intimacy of personal narratives to sculpt the history of Zimbabwe for the contemporary reader.Tshuma has shown a rare talent for creating blisteringly real characters, somehow cementing their authenticity in the unreliable histories narrated by Zamani." - Beth Cochrane, The Skinny

"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

"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

“In this strong first novel for Zimbabwe-born Tshuma, narrator Zamani possesses many qualities of the classically defined unreliable narrator, particularly deception…A fascinating, often disturbing metaphor for Zimbabwe’s struggle to emerge from its colonial past and remember rather than erase its history; highly recommended.” - Library Journal, starred review

“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.” - Kim Evans, Culture Fly

"Reading House of Stone is like being punched in the stomach and tickled at the same time." - Ranka Primorac

“House of Stone ties together intimate moments of love and family in the midst of revolution and turmoil, perfecting the balance of the personal and the political…a powerful meditation of identity, politics, and what makes a nation.” - Mya Alexis, Foreword

“Tshuma’s ambitious debut tells the story of the country’s bloody, complicated past—and also a carefully unfurling thriller evoking The Talented Mr Ripley and the film Six Degrees of Separation.” - Emerald Street

“A fantastic piece of literature that tells the Zimbabwean story through the story of Zamani an unreliable narrator seeking to weave his way into the love of the aggrieved family.” - Wisdom Mumera, Kalabash

'“For all the violence Tshuma exposes in House of Stone, unavoidable when dealing with Zimbabwe’s history, she leavens the load with a sparkling exuberance, punctuated by passages of poetry and song, and an abundance of humour and tenderness.” - Linda Herrick, The New Zealand Listener

"Tshuma is our Zamani—feeding us the sweet nectar of historic lyricism, of which we can't get enough." - Books and Rhymes

"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