Sign and Taboo

Perspectives on the Poetic Fiction of Yvonne Vera

Robert Muponde

 

Synopsis

Yvonne Vera's Nehanda (1993) signaled the presence of new and remarkable writing in Zimbabwe, and her four subsequent novels confirmed her stature as one of the most important African novelists of the 1990s. This work brings together critics from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Britain, the Caribbean, and the United States, demonstrating through a diversity of approaches the complex beauty of Vera's work. It shows how Vera expanded the formal possibilities of the African novel by placing the experiences of women at the center of literature, and in so doing, retold and recreated Zimbabwe's history and imaginative life.

Review

...an important, well-researched and thoughtful account of Vera's works by a group of critics from literary, historical, anthropological and political backgrounds...this dense collection of essays highlights the essential relationship between the African past, the period after independence and the plight of women in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. - Sekai Nzenza

Author

Prof Robert Muponde is Associate Professor of English in the School of Literature, Language and Media, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.