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Little Stones

2020 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Little Stones tells the fascinating story of Hannah, a young white girl living in Zimbabwe during the reign of Robert Mugabe. Her understanding of her world is constantly challenged as family tensions increase alongside the escalating racial and political tensions of the era. 

Hannah’s story is infused with an unwavering love for her country and connection to the land: a connection she gradually discovers to be more fraught and complex than she had realised. Her grandparents‘ farm is threatened and her father’s dubious relationship with corrupt elites becomes more clear, as do the inequalities between the white and black people who inhabit her world. Hannah may never completely understand her privilege, but Kuiper certainly does. The book’s greatest strength lies in the nuanced way this is shown through small details of everyday life, the casual bigotry Hannah witnesses and the complex relationship between her family and their beloved Shona housekeeper.