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Vera, Yvonne


Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Yvonne Vera (b. September 19, 1964, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; d. April 7, 2005, Toronto, Canada) was a novelist, short-story writer, and editor. In postcolonial African feminist fiction, hers is a voice that is both unmistakable and unsettling. Her lyrical and postmodernist fiction (ethereal language, magical realism, repetition) indicts colonialism, unexamined nationalism, and patriarchal configurations and their privileging of land ownership over the female body. In five novels and a short-story collection, published between 1992 and 2002, Vera tackled subjects that many consider taboo. Rape, incest, infanticide, self-abortion, commercial sex work, and sexual pleasure figure in Vera's attempt to recover the repressed voices of women in Zimbabwean culture. Her commitment to bear witness to violent practices against women and her narrative techniques position Vera as one of the promising writers from Southern Africa, before her untimely death at the age of 40. With Zimbabwean writers such as Dambudzo Marechera, Tsitsi Dagarembga, and Chenjerai Hove, Vera ushered in a literary tradition that exposes gender-related and sexual prejudices. Vera's novels are acclaimed both locally and internationally for their acute depictions of women's travails and resilience in key events of Zimbabwean history. From the first Chimurenga (struggle against British colonialism in the nineteenth century) to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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