House of Stone
By Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
House of Stone is narrated by Zamani a young man obsessed with the history of the couple he rents a room from. It is a chilling recounting of the histories and traumas of Zimbabwean people. Unlike many books in the genre if historical fiction, the book is written in first person and we get to know all of the characters through Zamani’s untrustworthy word that he sometimes even admits to construing, especially concerning events of the past. This allows the reader space to understand the power that is held by the storyteller. It is a compelling critique of the propaganda that the Zimbabwean government still spreads today pertaining to the Gukurahundi era from 1982 to 1987.
All of the characters in the book have been touched by the atrocities of the Gukurahundi, the massacre of Zimbabwean people, largely in the Matebeleland region, by a government military unit trained in North Korea. The characters show us the difficulty of engaging with the
complicated histories that come hand in hand with the nation building project.
As she laces Zamani’s narrative with the history of the massacres, Tshuma does a great service to the Zimbabwean people in telling a history that they have often been denied.