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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colonial fictions: memory and history in Yvonne Vera's imagination
Author:Zeleza, PaulISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:women writers
About person:Yvonne Vera (1965-2005)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v038/38.2zeleza.pdf
Abstract:This essay is a commemoration and celebration of the work of the late Yvonne Vera, one of Africa's most cosmopolitan and gifted writers. It argues that history was central to Vera: it animated her imagination, framed her stories, her characters, and her literary vision. History looms large in the African intellectual and literary imagination as a source of anxiety, anger, and affirmation for a people whose humanity was once derided and even denied by Europe. Vera's literary oeuvre enables us to examine the close but complicated connections between history and literature. The essay examines Vera's poetic histories, that is, the way her five novels engage and reconstruct Zimbabwe's history. Particular attention is focused on two novels, 'Nehanda' and 'Butterfly burning', that interrogate the colonial encounter long before the outbreak of the war of national liberation that constitutes the backdrop of her other three novels, 'Without a name', 'Under the tongue', and 'The stone virgins'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]