House of Stone, by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

It took longer than it should have to read House of Stone by Zimbabwean author Novuyo Rosa Tshuma.  Weird, confusing, but fascinating too, it seems to be grounded in an oral storytelling tradition with a narrator who’s pulling the strings in an anarchic sort of way.  Zamani is definitely in charge of the narrative, breaking in every now and again to confide in the reader that he is orchestrating events in the present while extracting from unwilling witnesses their stories of the past.  But he is also manipulating the reader in order to gain sympathy for himself…

The story begins with the disappearance of 19 year-old Bhokasi.  His parents, Abed and Agnes are distraught (as any parents would be in the chaos of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe) so they are vulnerable to Zamani’s upbeat assurances that all will be well, even though he knows full well that Bhokasi was hauled into a…

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