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Without a Name and Under the Tongue

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Without a Name and Under the Tongue by Vera, Yvonne, 9780374528164
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  • ISBN: 9780374528164 | 0374528160
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/13/2002
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Yvonne Vera's novels chronicle the lives of Zimbabwean women with extraordinary power and beauty.Without a NameandUnder the Tongue, her two earliest novels, are set in the seventies during the guerrilla war against the white government. InWithout 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. InUnder 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. Yvonne Vera(1964-2005) is one of Zimbabwe's most acclaimed writers and social critics. She is the author ofButterfly Burning, winner of the Berlin Literature Prize (work in translation),Without a Name, andUnder the Tongue, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region). In 2002 she was awarded the Macmillan (UK) Writer's Prize for Africa (adult fiction) forThe Stone Virgins. Winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Africa Region) A Finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Yvonne Vera's novels chronicle the lives of Zimbabwean women with extraordinary power and beauty.Without a NameandUnder the Tongue, her two earliest novels, are set in the seventies during the guerrilla war against the white government. InWithout 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. Destitute, she is led by fear and desperation to commit an unthinkable act. WithUnder the Tongue(1996), Vera became the first Zimbabwean writer ever to deal frankly with the problem of incest that plagued the country. When Zhizha is raped by her father, a self-styled war hero, she loses all desire and ability to speak. Her relationships with her motherjailed for killing her husband after discovering his brutal actsand her grandmother evoke profound meditations on the nature and necessity of language and expression, and on the affinity between silence and sorrow: "A word does not rot unless it is carried in the mouth for too long, under the tongue."Under the Tonguewon the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region). "Vera's style is beautifully matched with the content, and magnificently promotes its central theme that language has both the power to heal and to accrete and to allow those who have once been victims to transform themselves and their future."Judges' Citation, Commonwealth Writers Prize, Africa Region (Under the Tongue) "Vera's style is beautifully matched with the content, and magnificently promotes its central theme that language has both the power to heal and to accrete and to allow those who have once been victims to transform themselves and their future."Judges' Citation, Commonwealth Writers Prize, Africa Region (Under the Tongue) "Without a Namemovingly exposes the ways in which an unwanted pregnancy can be a virtual death sentence for a poor African woman with a dream . . . A powerful narrative."The New York Times Book Review "Vera writes with an unflinching honesty that refuses to varnish or romanticize the grim reality that faces, inWithout a Name,a woman, Mazvita, who seeks freedom by leaving her home to go to Harare . . . InUnder the Tongu

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