In 1980, after decades of guerrilla war against colonial rule, Rhodesia earned its hard-fought-for independence from Britain. Less than two years thereafter when Mugabe rose to power in the new Zimbabwe, it signalled the beginning of brutal civil unrest that would last nearly half a decade more. With The Stone Virgins Yvonne Vera examines the dissident movement from the perspective of two sisters living in a small township outside of Bulawayo. In a portrait painted in successive impressions of life before and after the liberation, Vera explores the quest for dignity and a centred existence against a backdrop of unimaginable violence; the twin instincts of survival and love; the rival pulls of township and city life; and mankind's capacity for terror, beauty and sacrifice. One sister will find a reason for hope. One will not make it through alive.