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.
Yvonne Vera (September 19, 1964 – April 7, 2005) was an author from Zimbabwe. Her first published book was a collection of short stories, Why Don't You Carve Other Animals (1992), which was followed by five novels: Nehanda (1993), Without a Name (1994), Under the Tongue (1996), Butterfly Burning (1998), and The Stone Virgins (2002). Her novels are known for their poetic prose, difficult subject-matter, and their strong women characters, and are firmly rooted in Zimbabwe's difficult past. For these reasons, she has been widely studied and appreciated by those studying postcolonial African literature.