“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.”
— NoViolet Bulawayo, author of WE NEED NEW NAMES
★ Winner - 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize
*Longlisted - 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature


"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