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Without a Name and Under the Tongue

Yvonne Vera

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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.

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Without a Name and Under the Tongue
FOR MY MOTHER AND HER MOTHERoneHeat mauled the upturned faces.The bus was fierce red. Skin turned a violent mauve. That is how hot the day was. The faces jostled and hurried, surrounding the bus with shimmering voices. The large black wheels were yellow with gathered dust. Mud had dried in the wide grooves within the tires. Small stones looked out from the mud. Thick layers of brown earth covered the windows and the rest of the body, but the bus still shone red. It was that red. It was so stunningly red it was living.Mazvita separated herself from the waiting
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REVIEWS

Praise for Without a Name and Under the Tongue

Praise for Butterfly Burning:

"A remarkable novel . . . Vera writes gracefully, depicting with extraordinary elegance the chaos and disorder of township life, the surreal conditions of existence imposed by the colonial authority upon the residents."--Michelle Cliff, The Village Voice

"Vera makes the novel new in Africa."--Independent Extra (Zimbabwe)
Praise for Butterfly Burning:

"A remarkable novel . . . Vera writes gracefully, depicting with extraordinary elegance the chaos and disorder of township life, the surreal conditions of existence imposed by the colonial authority upon the residents."--Michelle Cliff, The Village Voice

"Vera makes the novel new in Africa."--Independent Extra (Zimbabwe)

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Yvonne Vera

  • Yvonne Vera was born in Bulawayo, where she is now director of the National Gallery. The author of Butterfly Burning, she received the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa region) for Under the Toungue.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Without a Name and Under the Tongue

Yvonne Vera

  • Trade Paperback

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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