Thursday, April 18, 2019

Review: HOUSE OF STONE by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

I reviewed House of Stone: A Novel (W.W. Norton and Company) by Houston's Novuyo Rosa Tshuma for Lone Star Literary Life. "A work of remarkable imagination, House of Stone is quickly and evenly paced until it begins coursing toward the denouement, flinging jaw-dropping twists amidst the factional, fractional, bloody birth of Zimbabwe, with mordant wit and keen characterization."

LITERARY FICTION
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
House of Stone: A Novel
W.W. Norton & Co.
Hardcover, 978-0-3936-3542-3 (also available as an e-book, an audiobook, and in paperback), 400 pgs., $26.95
January 29, 2019
“Always, you must be looking back over your shoulder, to see what history is busy plotting for your future."
Zamani is “a man on a mission … to remake the past, and a wish to fashion all that has been into being and becoming.” He is a border in the home of Abednego and Agnes Mlambo in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Unbeknownst to the Mlambos, Zamani grew up in the house they now occupy, his childhood marred by secrets which were followed by revelations that threaten to unhinge his unstable personality. Zamani sees his chance to ingratiate himself with the couple when their son, Bukhosi, goes missing. Zamani assists in the searches for the teenage Bukhosi, and when Abednego refers to him as his “surrogate son” it is the “fruit of a long labor.” As Zamani plies Abednego with Johnnie Walker Blue and Agnes with sympathy, he pries their family histories from them and discovers that his appropriation of a new family hasn’t corrected his history or acquired for him a future, but instead has anchored him in, and allowed a fuller expression of, exactly that which he wished to deny and destroy.

House of Stone is the debut novel of Houston’s (by way of Zimbabwe) Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, whose short fiction collection, Shadows, won the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize for the best literary work in English. A work of remarkable imagination, House of Stone is quickly and evenly paced until it begins coursing toward the denouement, flinging jaw-dropping twists amidst the factional, fractional, bloody birth of Zimbabwe, with mordant wit and keen characterization.

Who gets to tell whose story? House of Stone is told in Zamani’s first-person narration, but he is envious, manipulative, cruel, and ambitious, which begs the question: Is Zamani a reliable narrator? How can we trust Abednego’s account since he’s an alcoholic? Or Agnes’s version because she’s having visions from the Holy Ghost? The government issues an official version, but “those who know [the truth] are the kind of inerudite folk who, aside from being asked to pose for Red Cross and WHO newsletter photos, aren’t thought to possess that much-needed epistemological savoir faire.”

One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. Would-be revolutionaries discover the bourgeois nature of their idealism when confronted with the genuine article. “There’s no such thing as truth … truth is optics. And there are so many options out there.” Is anyone to be trusted? How about you? Can you be trusted? Who among us is a reliable narrator?

The cadences of Tshuma’s prose are most assertive when she’s toing and froing in time, often from one paragraph to the next, the singsong give-and-take between the “ballsy exploits of Death” and Zamani’s “arti-farce.” Tshuma’s appreciation of mischief and her delight in language is evident. This account of Bukhosi’s birth in the bush, attended by a village woman and the sudden appearance of a lion, is a prime example:
“...my surrogate father tried to scream but couldn’t find his voice, my inamorata found her voice and screamed, the woman bared her teeth and barked, the beast bared its gums and snarled, the baby was coming, the Khoi San woman was hissing, Thandi was groaning, the lion was growling, she spread her legs, it licked its nose, she fisted her hands, it shook its mane, she began to cry, and off it sauntered.”
Tshuma presents us with a history lesson in the form of these individual lives, demonstrating the folly of denying that the personal is political. Following personal revolutions into political corruptions, Tshuma juxtaposes war narratives with the real thing, warning of the vile, dangerous mixture of religion and nationalism, as well as the risks of nostalgia, that siren song of a glorious, illusory past (“Make Rhodesia Great Again!”) which claims the powers of myth when a people cannot imagine any future they could want for themselves.

After all of this, we feel Tshuma’s steadfast compassion. We feel her hopeful ambition for her characters as they do what they think they must in the chaos and brutality of our darkest endeavors and attempt to rewrite history, re-inventing themselves in the aftermaths.

Originally published by Lone Star Literary Life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book Trailer & Giveaway: PANIC POINT by Bill Briscoe


 PANIC POINT
Pepperman Mystery Series
Book Two
by
BILL BRISCOE

  Genre: Mystery / Crime Fiction / Stand-Alone
Publisher: self-published
Date of Publication: March 26, 2019
Number of Pages: 248

Scroll down for Giveaway!
  

When Earl's bride Morgan vanishes in the Smoky Mountains on their honeymoon, the former Navy SEAL is certain she's been abducted. The park rangers disagree, and after a storm washes away any potential evidence, they call off the official search. Then another man loses his daughter in the same area. Can one last lead help Earl find Morgan before he loses her forever?




WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER



BUY THE BOOK
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Bill grew up in the oil and gas refinery town of Phillips in the Texas Panhandle. After graduating from college with a master’s degree, he spent most of his career working for a major insurance company as an agency manager and consultant.

As his retirement was on the horizon, he had an idea about a book. That story, Pepperman’s Promise, became the prequel to The Pepperman Mystery Series, and Perplexity and Panic Point, the next two books in the series, are now available.

Bill and his wife of fifty years live in West Texas. 

Twitter ║ Facebook ║ Email

--------------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize: Autographed Copies of the Full Pepperman Mystery Series
Two Winners: Autographed Copies of Panic Point
April 16-26, 2019
(U.S. Only)


CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
4/16/19
Book Trailer
4/16/19
Notable Quotable
4/17/19
Excerpt
4/17/19
Excerpt
4/18/19
Review
4/19/19
Review
4/20/19
Scrapbook Page
4/20/19
Character Interview
4/21/19
Review
4/22/19
Author Interview
4/22/19
Series Spotlight
4/23/19
Review
4/24/19
Promo
4/25/19
Review
4/25/19
Review


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Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 15-21, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 15-21, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Texas Writers: a traveling exhibit by Humanities Texas, San Antonio, April 3-30

Monday, April 15:
Austin

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Nathaniel Rich discussing and signing LOSING EARTH, 7PM

Goethe Pop Up Houston, Author Reading: Pierre Jarawan and The Storyteller, 6:30PM

Rice U, Cagle Lecture Series presents “Protective Mimicry: Reflection on the Novel Today”
with Nicholas Royle , 4:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Nashville recording artist & bestselling author Robert Hunter will be performing an all acoustic set of his original music and signing his novel, Relapse: A Love Story, 5PM

Richardson
Richardson Public Library, Writers Guild of Texas workshop: "Character Development" with Amanda Arista, 7PM

Tuesday, April 16:
Austin
B&N - Lincoln Park, Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk and Preventative Mastectomy book signing with Kim Horner, 7PM

Deep Vellum Books, Vellum Ouroboros - A Poetry Open Mic Salon, 6:45PM

Half Price Books Mothership, USA Today bestselling author Chanel Cleeton will discuss and sign her latest novel, When We Left Cuba, 7PM

Hall of State at Fair Park, Dallas Historical Society presents An Evening with Leonard Volk, author of Everyday, followed by a book signing, 6:30PM

Hotel Crescent Court, World Affairs Council DFW presents Douglas Brinkley discussing and signing American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space, 12PM

Interabang Books, Michael Pullara discussing and signing THE SPY WHO WAS LEFT BEHIND, 7PM

Edinburg
UTRGV, Fairy Tales for Truth and Justice: SanTana's Fairy Tales featuring artist and author Sarah Rafael García, 12:15PM

El Paso
The Black Orchid Lounge, The Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, 8PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, That's My Mama: storytelling and poetry, 6:30PM

The Dock Bookshop, Poetry and Open Mic, 8PM

Houston
Coates University Center, Democracy in Chains book talk with author Dr. Nancy MacLean, 7PM

The Mix, PuroSlam with DJ Donnie Dee, 9:30PM

The Twig Book Shop, Clay Coppedge discussing and signing Texas Singularities, 5PM

Wednesday, April 17:

Dallas

San Antonio
Thursday, April 18:
Angleton
Brazoria County Historical Museum, Anthony Head discussing and signing Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño, 6:30PM

Austin
Interabang Books, Scott Warren discussing and signing GENERATION CITIZEN, 7PM

Majestic Theatre, Chelsea Handler discussing Life Will Be the Death of Me, 8PM

Denton
Dan's Silverleaf, Spiderweb Salon presents RADIO POETS LIVE!, 6PM

Houston
Archway Gallery, Archway Readers Special Edition featuring cinepoems, 6PM

Asia Society Texas Center, World Affairs Council of Greater Houston presents Manal al-Sharif, author of Daring to Drive: a Saudi Woman's Awakening, 6:30PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Kate DiCamillo will discuss and sign her newest book, A PIGLET NAMED MERCY, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, The Lee Brothers discussing and signing HOTBOX, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Helen Ellis will sign Southern Lady Code: Essays, 6:30PM

New Braunfels
The Book Haus, Story time: Jacky Lamenzo reading Addy Wants to Fit In, 10:30AM

Pflugerville
Wild Magnolias, NeoSoul presents Blaq Mic Poetry featuring Erica Nicole, 8PM

San Marcos
Texas State, Wittliff Collections reading series featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen, 3:30PM

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, Jana Aston Live Author Takeover!, 7PM

Weslaco
Sanchez Public Librfary, The Storybook Garden presents: Meet Adam Gidwitz & David Bowles, authors of Chupacabras of the Rio Grande, 6PM

Friday, April 19:
Austin
Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam: Double Feature with Jus' Marvin & DK Vintage, 8PM

El Paso
Literarity Book Shop, Poetry Therapy - Drink Specials and Giveaways!, 6:30PM

Kyle
Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, KAP reading series featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen, 7:30PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Story time: Catherine Stier presents IF I WERE A PARK RANGER, 10:30AM

Saturday, April 20:
Austin
Dallas
Half Price Books Mother Ship, Local Author Sundays: Meet local indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

Houston
Discovery Green, WITS hosts Poetry & Pose at Discovery Green, 11AM

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 8-14, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 8-14, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
Ongoing Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Texas Writers: a traveling exhibit by Humanities Texas, San Antonio, April 3-30

Monday, April 8:
Austin
Houston
Bayou City Event Center, Avondale House presents Challenging Autism Luncheon with Ron Suskind, author of Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, 11:30AM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Biographer Susan Page will sign her new book on Houston's beloved Barbara Bush, THE MATRIARCH, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, Douglas Brinkley discussing and signing AMERICAN MOONSHOT, 7PM

Katy
Taylor High School Performing Arts Center, book signing and meet-and-greet with Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, authors of #IMomSoHard, 7PM

Richardson
UT Dallas, French author and translator Brice Matthieussent and his English language translator,  Emma Ramadan, discussing and reading from The Revenge of the Translator, 7PM

San Antonio
Trinity U, Stieren Arts Enrichment Series: An Evening with poet Sharon Olds: A Reading with Commentary, 8PM

Tuesday, April 9:
Arlington

UTA, Dr Robert Jensen discussing The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men, 12PM

Austin
Austin History Center, Meet the Author: Joe Nick Patoski presents From Austin to ATX, 6:30PM

BookPeople, T. KIRA MADDEN speaking & signing Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls (in conversation with Maya Payne Smart), 7PM

Central Presbyterian Church, BookPeople presents CASSANDRA CLARE and WESLEY CHUspeaking and signing Red Scrolls of Magic (in conversation with Katie from Mundie Moms), 7PM

Chez Zee American Bistro, Chez Zee Author Series featuring Bill Wittliff and The Devil's Fork, 6PM

Flat Track Coffee, Chicon Street Poets Living Room Lit | Spoken Word Open Mic, 7:15PM

Home Slice Pizza, Austin Bat Cave Story Department presents "Road Trip," 7:30PM

Malvern Books, Octavio Solis reading and signing Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border, 7PM

Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin Poetry Slam featuring Addy Lugo, 7:15PM

Canyon
WTAMU, Garry L. Nall/CSAW/DLS Lecture: Growing up Dead in Texas presented by author Stephen Graham Jones, 7PM

Cedar Hill
Zula Bryant Wylie Library, Dallas Area Writers Group meeting featuring "Finding Your Voice" with Rebecca Balcárcel, 7PM

Dallas
Dallas Central Library, Half Price Books presents USA Today’s Susan Page discussing THE MATRIARCH: Barbara Bush and the making of an American Dynasty with Mike Wilson, editor-in-chief of The Dallas Morning News, 7PM [ticketed event]

Dallas Museum of Art, Arts & Letters Live featuring Madeline Miller presenting Circe and Mary Norris presenting Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen, 7:30PM

Deep Vellum Books, Brice Matthieussent in conversation with Emma Ramadan, translator of his new novel, Revenge of the Translator, 7PM

Hall of State at Fair Park, Dallas Historical Society Brown Bag Lecture: Max Krochmal, author of Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era, 12PM

Heritage Auctions Design District Annex, Art & Design Speaker Series: William Middleton, author of Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil, 6PM

Fort Worth
Houston


Dallas

Thursday, April 11:

Austin
BookPeople, SLOANE CROSLEY speaking & signing Look Alive Out There, 7PM [ticketed event]

BookWoman, Second Thursday OPEN Mic featuring Lucy Griffith, 7:15PM

Harry Ransom Center, Rachel Cusk reading from Kudos, 6:30PM

Malvern Books, Novel Night with Brice Matthieussent, 7PM

Canyon
WTAMU, An Evening with Tim Seibles: A Poetry Reading, 7PM

Cypress
Lone Star College, Spring 2019 Poetry Slam, 7PM

Dallas
Austin
Body, Mind &Soul, An Evening of Spirit Communication with Mark Anthony, followed by a book signing, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, Rachel Cusk reading and signing The Outline Trilogy, 7PM

Lawndale Art Center, Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Justin Torres, Erika Jo Brown, Dallas Saylor, and Brenden Oliva, 7PM

U Houston, 2019 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, 10PM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Meet & Greet with Joe R. Lansdale who will be signing The Elephant of Surprise, 5PM

San Antonio
B&N - Northwoods, Meadowbrook: The Neighborhood That Made Me book signing with Joe Bax, 7PM

The Twig Book Shop, The Larger Geometry: poems for peace reading, 5PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Nashville recording artist and best-selling author Robert Hunter will be performing an acoustic set of his original music and signing copies of his novel, Relapse: A Love Story, 5PM

Southlake
B&N, Tracy Richardson signing The Field, 6PM

Waco
Baylor U, Armstrong Browning Library & Museum proudly presents "Celebrating Elizabeth Barrett Browning Through Cinematic Virtual Reality," 3:30PM

Saturday, April 13:
Austin
Austin History Center, Mike Miller, author of Austin's First Cookbook, presents “How to Prepare a Possum: 19th Century Food in Austin,” 11AM

BookPeople, T.C. BOYLE speaking & signing Outside Looking In, 3PM [ticketed event]

BookPeople, PAULA DISBROWE speaking & signing Thank You for Smoking, 6PM

Howson Branch Library, Local Author Day with Lindsay Leslie (11AM), Mark Pryor (2PM), and Anne Keene, 3PM

Malvern Books, No Love Signs: Readings by Melissa Duclos, Mo Daviau, and Josh Denslow, 7PM

St. Edward's U, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Structure in Narrative Nonfiction: Putting the Pieces Together" with Michael Hall, 9AM

Canadian
Canadian River Art Center, Literature & Lattes featuring Jodi Thomas, 6PM

Cleburne
The Published Page Bookshop, Meet Texas storyteller Weldon Reed who will be signing Tales of Old Texas, or The Adventures of Bull Frog, 1PM

Dallas

El Paso
El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "Igniting the 12 Senses" with Robin Scofield, 12:45PM

Galveston
Galveston Bookshop, William Warren signing Murder on Galveston Bay, 2PM

Houston
B&N - River Oaks, James Martin signing M.U.T.T. Night Jackal, 4PM

Body, Mind &Soul, An Evening of Spirit Communication with Mark Anthony, followed by a book signing, 7PM

Discovery Green, annual Writers in the Schools Blooms reading event, 11:30AM

Half Price Books - North Oaks, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

Hogg Middle School, Blue Willow Bookshop presents Abby Wambach will appear in conversation with Jen Hatmaker to discuss her new book, WOLFPACK, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Patrice Sarath will sign and discuss Fog Season, and Amber Royer will sign and discuss Pure Chocolate, 4:30PM

Writespace, Monthly Workshop Open Mic, 1PM

Irving
East Branch Library, NEA Big Read Irving 2019: One-Panel Cartoon with Julio Suarez (Session 1), 2PM; NEA Big Read Irving 2019: One-Panel Cartoon with Julio Suarez (Session 2), 3:30PM

McAllen
B&N - Palms Crossing, Meet The Author: Ruben Degollado, 3PM

Port Neches
B&N - Northwoods, Noah Green: Junior Zookeeper and the Garage Sale Pet book signing with Carolyn Leiloglou, 1PM

Igo Library, Arlene Gonzales reading from Out of the Dark, 2PM

Las Palmas Library, National Poetry Month Open Mic, 2PM

San Pedro Creek Culture Park, Writers Take a Walk: Poets, writers, and journalists are invited to explore art and nature at the new San Pedro Creek Culture Park, 10AM

The Twig Book Shop, Cynthia Freeman Gibbs signing Reasonable Insanity, 11AM

The Twig Book Shop, Lucy Warner signing Zap! Bam! Now! Superheroes of Music, 2PM

San Marcos
Texas State, French author and translator Brice Matthieussent and his English language translator,  Emma Ramadan, discussing and reading from The Revenge of the Translator, 4PM

Sugar Land
First Colony Library, Houston Writers Guild Library Workshop, 1PM

Webster
B&N, Gulf Coasts Poets meeting featuring Ken Jones, 10:30AM

Sunday, April 14:
Austin
BookPeople, RUSS WHITLOCK speaking & signing The Texas White House, 2PM

BookPeople, ROBERT A. CARO speaking & signing Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing, 5PM [ticketed event]

Malvern Books, Pierre Jarawan reading and signing The Storyteller, 4PM

Dallas
Dallas Museum of Art, Arts & Letters Live featuring Susan Choi presenting Trust Exercise and Nell Freudenberger presenting Lost and Wanted, 3PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, Local Author Sundays: Meet local indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

Denton
Dan's Silverleaf, Spiderweb Salon presents a Happy Hour Poetry Workshop, 2PM

Houston
JCC Houston, Brunch and Conversation with Ariel Burger, author of Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, 10:30AM

Irving
Valley Ranch Library, NEA Big Read Irving 2019: Chai Tea and Tai Chi, 2PM

Mansfield
Half Price BooksLocal Author Sundays: Meet local indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Bartee Haile signing Texas Entertainers: Lone Stars in Profile, 12PM