|Photograph courtesy Fungai Machirori|
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's debut novella and short story collection, Shadows, has been longlisted for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature. Novuyo's stories have appeared in several anthologies, including the 'amaBooks anthologies Silent Cry: Echoes of Young Zimbabwe Voices and Where to Now? Short Stories from Zimbabwe. Shadows contains Novuyo's short story, 'Crossroads', which was previously published in Where to Now? and, in isiNdebele, in Siqondephi Manje?Indatshana zaseZimbabwe. Where to Now? was co-published with Parthian Books in the United Kingdom.
This is the second year of the Etisalat Prize, the first recipient of the award was NoViolet Bulawayo for her novel We Need New Names. Both Novuyo and NoViolet come from Bulawayo.
Novuyo first came to the attention of 'amaBooks as a participant in the British Council's ‘Identity and Diversities’ Project, which culminated in us publishing the young people’s anthology Silent Cry: Echoes of Young Zimbabwe Voices, in which Novuyo was first published. At nineteen, her short story, 'Scattered Hearts', published in this anthology, was described by Dr Petros Ndlovu as ‘beautiful and powerful prose which fosters an appreciation of the personality of the young author who is so gifted in thought, analysis, problem-solving as well as English expression’. Novuyo went on to represent the project at the Identities and Diversities Youth Summit in Lusaka, Zambia 2007, and later at the Global Change-makers Africa Youth Summit in Cape Town, South Africa 2009.
Shadows is a winner of the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize. bookshybooks.blogspot.com, in her review of the Etisalat longlist, commented, 'With this debut novella and collection of short stories the reader is introduced to a startling new voice in African literature. Novuyo Tshuma sketches, with astounding accuracy, the realities of daily life in Zimbabwe and the peculiar intricacies of being a foreigner in Johannesburg. Vivid, sparse and, at times, tragically beautiful.'