Author: Yvonne Vera

  • Nehanda


    In a Zimbabwe village, in the late nineteenth century, amidst disturbing reports of strangers on their land, people gather to perform ceremonies to weclome a new-born. They call her Nehanda, and she had come bearing signs of specialness. When Nehanda grows into a young woman the nature of her gift finally becomes evident. She has been chosen by the ancestral spirits to inspire a war against the invaders, who have attained a strangehold on the land. And so the course of events unfolds, leading to its inevitable conclusion. Told in beautifully lucid and evocative prose, this is the story of a people’s first meeting with colonialism.

  • Without a Name and Under the Tongue

    Without a Name and Under the Tongue

    Yvonne Vera’s novels chronicle the lives of Zimbabwean women with extraordinary power and beauty. Without a Name and Under the Tongue, her two earliest novels, are set in the seventies during the guerrilla war against the white government. In Without a Name (1994), Mazvita, a young woman from the country, travels to Harare to escape the war and begin a new life. But her dreams of independence are short-lived. She begins a relationship of convenience and becomes pregnant. In Under the Tongue (1996), the adolescent Zhizha has lost the will to speak. In lyrical fragments, Vera relates the story of Zhizha’s parents, and the horrifying events that led to her mother’s imprisonment and her father’s death. With this novel Vera became the first Zimbabwean writer ever to deal frankly with incest. With these surprising, at times shocking novels Vera shows herself to be a writer of great potential.