Sign and Taboo: Perspectives on the Poetic Fiction of Yvonne Vera

Yvonne Vera's Nehanda (1993) signalled the presence of a new and remarkable writer. Four subsequent novels have confirmed that she was the most important African novelist to emerge during the 1990s. Critics from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Britain, the Caribbean and the United States demonstrate through a diversity of theoretical approaches the originality of her work. Yvonne Vera's dense and poetic writing records public and private experiences of moments in Zimbabwe's history through the consciousness of her central women characters. What sets her apart from most authors is her ability to handle the most difficult subjects and confront taboos. These essays assess her body of work and offer a range of perspectives on Zimbabwe.