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House of Stone: A Novel af Novuyo Rosa…
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House of Stone: A Novel (original 2018; udgave 2019)

af Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1165234,522 (3.97)8
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

"A towering and multilayered gem." ??NoViolet Bulawayo

Amid the turmoil of modern Zimbabwe, Abednego and Agnes Mlambo's teenage son has gone missing. Zamani, their enigmatic lodger, seems to be their only hope for finding him. As he weaves himself closer into the fabric of the grieving community, it's almost like Zamani is part of the family....

Zamani??one of the great unreliable narrators of contemporary world literature??knows that the one who controls the narrative inherits the future. As Abednego wrestles with alcoholism and Agnes seeks solace in a deep-rooted love, each must confront the burdens of history. Written with dark humor, wit, and seduction, 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 nation seeking an ident… (mere)

Medlem:thisisstephenbetts
Titel:House of Stone: A Novel
Forfattere:Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Forfatter)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2019), 400 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

House of Stone af Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (2018)

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Engelsk (4)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (5)
Viser 5 af 5
A novel which is really an anecdotal history of Zimbabwe, from its last days being called Rhodesia up to the close-to-present day. Very disturbing read at times, unsurprisingly, but with a lot of humor, and a broad cast list. Fascinating and expressive. ( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Er zijn boeken, waar je meteen een mening over hebt. En andere, die even moeten bezinken. House of Stone, van de Zimbabwaanse schrijfster Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (1988) behoort tot die tweede categorie. Het boek draait om Zamani, een jongeman van halverwege de twintig, die een tuinhuisje huurt bij de familie Mlambo in Bulawayo, een stad in het zuidwesten van Zimbabwe. Zamani is ook de verteller van het verhaal. In letterlijke zin: je hebt echt het gevoel dat hij rechtstreeks tot jou, de lezer spreekt. Maar je vriend is hij niet. Je krijgt al snel door dat hij een bepaald onbetrouwbare verteller is. En dan heeft hij ook nog snode plannen.

Zamani is namelijk als een soort koekoeksjong op zoek naar een nieuwe familie. Hoe het precies zit met zijn eigen familie komt pas laat in zijn verhaal naar voren. Aanvankelijk is alleen duidelijk dat hij de plek van Bukhosi in wil nemen, het enige kind van zijn gastgezin. De negentienjarige Bukhosi is spoorloos verdwenen. Zijn ouders hebben geen idee wat er met hem is gebeurd en zijn wanhopig. Dat Zamani meer over de verdwijning weet is de lezer vanaf het begin duidelijk, maar hoe het precies zit vertelt hij niet meteen. En tegen Bukhosi’s ouders zegt hij helemaal niks. Sterker nog, hij gebruikt de situatie om een plekje in de familie te veroveren. Onderdeel daarvan is dat hij lange en intieme gesprekken voert, eerst met de vader, en later met de moeder, over hun familiegeschiedenis. Aan de hand van die familiegeschiedenissen komen er pijnlijke episodes uit de geschiedenis van Zimbabwe aan het licht, die eigenlijk de kern van het verhaal vormen.

House of Stone is niet een boek om gezellig even tussendoor te lezen. Dat heeft deels te maken met het taalgebruik, dat niet eenvoudig is. En deels met de manier waarop Zamani zijn verhaal vertelt, bijna zoals iemand tegen je praat, met herhalingen, omissies, niet altijd in logische volgorde, en belangrijke informatie in kleine tussenzinnetjes verstopt. Maar het heeft zeker ook te maken met de politieke context. Die is niet vrolijk. Het boek gaat over het leven in Zimbabwe onder dictator Robert Mugabe, zowel in de 21e eeuw, waarin je als demonstrant zomaar spoorloos kan verdwijnen, maar ook in de vroege jaren ‘80, toen er een complete bevolkingsgroep werd uitgeroeid omdat zij niet massaal genoeg op Mugabe hadden gestemd bij de eerste verkiezingen in het toen net onafhankelijke Zimbabwe. Tshuma maakt het haar buitenlandse lezers niet makkelijk: ze veronderstelt veel voorkennis en ik moest best veel opzoeken op internet om de historische context goed te begrijpen.

Al met al een uitdagend boek om te lezen. Je moet je aandacht er echt bij houden. Toch was dat het wel waard: ik heb nieuwe dingen geleerd en mijn wereld is weer een beetje groter geworden. Tegelijk moet ik erbij zeggen dat mijn wereldbeeld er bepaald niet positiever op is geworden. ( )
  Tinwara | Oct 20, 2022 |
A fantastic story made all the more compelling by the real-world history; Zimbabwe oppressed by colonial Great Britain and then once independent in 1980, having Robert Mugabe turn in to a brutal dictator and massacre civilians of the minority Ndebele group at Gukurahundi. It reminded me of the postcolonial books ‘The Poisonwood Bible’ (the Congo) and ‘What is the What’ (Sudan) which I also loved as much for the education as the writing.

The way Tshuma uses the tale of broken patrilineage across generations, with one man fathered out of wedlock by a white colonist and another by a rapist who committed atrocities seems to symbolize the plight of the country over the past century, and still trying to pick up the pieces today, e.g. searching for one’s true family, searching for one’s true country. The narrator is a young man who gradually uncovers the truth about the past in his country and the lives of the family he’s trying to ingratiate himself into, and we ourselves gradually begin to understand more about him. It’s a wonderful, chilling character, and the story is very well told.

The book is more about Gukurahundi and those who carried out Mugabe’s wishes (the current president, Emerson “The Crocodile” Mnangawa, and Perence “Black Jesus” Shiri included), but there are also references to British atrocities via chemical and biological warfare engineered by Professor Robert Symington that were interesting (and depressing) to read up on. The way Rhodesia’s border had been drawn by Britain in a nonsensical way didn’t help, but the pattern of a power vacuum once an oppressor is gone and violent factions invariably forming seems to recur so often that it makes me wonder about humanity as a whole. There is a lightness and buoyancy to Tshuma’s style, but what she’s saying here is devastating.

Quotes:
“What are honor and duty and country except the trinity of a live, moving hearse into which we throw conquest’s history-riddled bodies? What do you suppose those soldiers of the Schutzstaffel told themselves as they flung in the name of honour and duty and country Jewish bodies, warm and breathing still, into the furnaces of Treblinka? What do you suppose the founders of the US of A were thinking as they wiped out whole Native American populations? And those soldiers of our own Mugabe’s 5 Brigade, what do you suppose ran through their minds as they hacked and hacked our people to death in Matabeleland during Gukurahundi? I imagine they all saw themselves as ordinary men, just men and even boys who had mothers and lovers waiting somewhere with rose-scented memories bosomed in their chests.” ( )
2 stem gbill | Jul 29, 2020 |
Powerful, exquisitely affecting, blisteringly honest

House of Stone is an impressive debut that examines the integration and recreation of personal and national identities through the lens of one “family” from the dissolution of Rhodesia, the birth of Zimbabwe, and what being a nation entails.

It is through the lens of the hopeful wily protagonist Zamani and his obsessive need to immerse himself into the family history of his landlords in order to re-create his “his-story” that makes this storyline so poignant.

While the violence is brutal it is well-balanced by the lively luminous prose as Tshuma deftly weaves the historical and personal into a seamless chronicle and provides a testament to the “culture of enforced amnesia.”

At the end, I was so appreciative of how cleverly this story not only engaged me into the lives of these compelling characters, provided a thought-provoking history lessons but left me with an extraordinary reading experience of a place and time that is more universal than not.

This is a perfect example of how to write history into fiction.

I look forward to writing future works by Tshuma. ( )
  bookmuse56 | Jan 30, 2019 |
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 police van during a demo. He doesn’t tell them that because he is scheming to become their adopted son…

According to the Bantu philosophy of Ubuntu, the belief in a universal bond of sharing involves a communal pedigree. Each person, Zamani tells us, needs a hi-story, and must be able to trace his lineage through two generations, to a grandfather. And as the would-be revolutionary Thandi explains to her would-be lover, their stories should be told:

“And now, the valour of our people and the glory of the Mthwakazi Nation lives on not in any history book, or in any official account, where we are nothing but savages without culture, without history or glory or anything worth mentioning or passing on,” she said, pressing her hand to her chest. “I heard the stories from my father, passed down to him by his father, my grandfather, and which I shall one day pass down to my children.” (p.53)


But Zamani does not know his lineage. He was brought up by Uncle Fani after the death of his mother, and the imposed collective silence about the atrocity in which she died means that he does not even know how she died, or more ominously, who his father was. Abed does not know who his father was either, and the suggestion that it might be a neighbouring white farmer sends him into alcoholic rages and violence against his wife Agnes. These people are emblematic of the way Zimbabwe’s violent pre- and post-colonial history is at odds with its ancient tribal traditions.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2019/01/05/house-of-stone-by-novuyo-rosa-tshuma/
( )
  anzlitlovers | Jan 4, 2019 |
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

"A towering and multilayered gem." ??NoViolet Bulawayo

Amid the turmoil of modern Zimbabwe, Abednego and Agnes Mlambo's teenage son has gone missing. Zamani, their enigmatic lodger, seems to be their only hope for finding him. As he weaves himself closer into the fabric of the grieving community, it's almost like Zamani is part of the family....

Zamani??one of the great unreliable narrators of contemporary world literature??knows that the one who controls the narrative inherits the future. As Abednego wrestles with alcoholism and Agnes seeks solace in a deep-rooted love, each must confront the burdens of history. Written with dark humor, wit, and seduction, 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 nation seeking an ident

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