The first ever Zimbabwean Caine Prize winner Brian Chikwava has a second novel in the works titled Shamiso. Exploring the tensions between romance and prejudice, the novel will be published in January 2025 by Canongate, who has acquired world rights excluding Africa.
Shamiso has a unique love story at the hearts of its narrative. A Zimbabwean girl meets a gender-fluid Afro-Brit boy, but they can’t stand each other at first. Eventually, they fall hopelessly in love, but their mutual prejudices regarding each other’s identities soon get in the way and they are traumatized into separate life paths.
The novel sounds absolutely fascinating and we cannot wait to read about this unique couple and if they can overcome their differences. According to The Bookseller, Chikwava’s novel is “stylistically innovative and effortlessly entertaining,. . . both whimsical and compelling, complex yet accessible.” Most of all, it tells the story of constructing the self and family.
In a statement to The Bookseller, Canongate editor Ellah Wakatama remarked that Chikwava is the author of her dreams, an absolutely wonderful compliment:
Commissioning Harare North was an early career highlight for me. Brian Chikwava is the author of my dreams – utterly original in his prose, wickedly incisive and mischievous in equal measure and entirely serious in his exploration of the perils and possibilities of diaspora. I am delighted to be reunited with Brian with this bold and necessary new book.
Brian Chikwava is a Zimbabwean writer and musician. His short story “Seventh Street Alchemy” was awarded the 2004 Caine Prize for African writing in English, and he became the first Zimbabwean to do so. He was also longlisted for the 2010 Orwell Prize for political writing. His first novel Harare North was published in 2009.
Chikwava commented to The Bookseller that he was excited for his second novel:
I’m very thrilled to be reunited with Ellah and for this little book to find a new home at Canongate. It takes a leap of faith to have faith in a piece of work that doesn’t follow the usual thoroughfares of fiction, and I’m grateful to Canongate and my agent Emma for that.
Congrats to Chikwava on the upcoming book! We are excited to find out more details about it.