Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s debut novel House of Stone was published in 2018 to much acclaim. It has been awarded the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize. Before the novel, Tshuma had already published a novella and short fiction in various outlets. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently working on her PhD. Tshuma is the fiction editor for The Bare Life Review, “a literary biannual devoted entirely to work by immigrant and refugee authors”.
We sat down in April during the African Book Festival Berlin and talked about concepts of history, the role of humour when writing about trauma, the fascinating protagonist Zamani in Tshuma’s novel House of Stone, placing certain narratives in the publishing industry (and what is deemed a ‘difficult’ read and sell), and studying creative writing.
Photo credit: Photographed by Tribute Nyoni.