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House of Stone (Hardcover)
A couple's son has gone missing, and their lodger, the strange and often poetic Zamani, gives them hope that he can find the young man. The orphaned Zamani is intent, however, on insinuating himself into the parent's lives – perhaps taking their son's place – and prying with wily ways into each of their intimate dark secrets. Perhaps this is a set up for a thriller, but this stunning novel turns out to be an epic reckoning with Zimbabwe's past, from colonial Rhodesia to the present strongman government, and the enduring scars of genocide. Hard to believe this is a first novel by Tshuma, she has a mesmerizing style and dark humor and has created unforgettable characters in this complex and sweeping story.
- Nancy— From Nancy's Reading Shelf
In the chronic turmoil of modern Zimbabwe, Abednego and Agnes Mlambo's teenage son, Bukhosi, has gone missing, and the Mlambos fear the worst. Their enigmatic lodger, Zamani, seems to be their last, best hope for finding him. Since Bukhosi's disappearance, Zamani has been preternaturally helpful: hanging missing posters in downtown Bulawayo, handing out fliers to passersby, and joining in family prayer vigils with the flamboyant Reverend Pastor from Agnes's Blessed Anointings church. It's almost like Zamani is part of the family...
But almost isn't nearly enough for Zamani. He ingratiates himself with Agnes and feeds alcoholic Abednego's addiction, desperate to extract their life stories and steep himself in borrowed family history, as keenly aware as any colonialist or power-mad despot that the one who controls the narrative inherits the future. As Abednego wrestles with the ghosts of his past and Agnes seeks solace in a deep-rooted love, their histories converge and each must confront the past to find their place in a new Zimbabwe.
Pulsing with wit, seduction, and dark humor, 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, but built on forgetting.