Yvonne Vera.Yvonne Vera Yvonne Vera (September 19, 1964 - April 7, 2005) was an award-winning author from Zimbabwe. 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. , one of Africa's pre-eminent pre·em·i·nent or pre-em·i·nent
Superior to or notable above all others; outstanding. See Synonyms at dominant, noted.
[Middle English, from Latin prae writers, died on 9 April, aged 40. While her work seems to be little known in Namibia, it has been included in feminist and African studies African studies (also known as Africana studies) is the study of Africa, and can encompass such fields as social and economic development, politics, history, culture, sociology, anthropology or linguistics. A specialist in African studies is referred to as an Africanist. curricula at universities across the world. Despite her short writing career Vera received many awards for her five poetical po·et·i·cal
2. Fancifully depicted or embellished; idealized.
po·eti·cal·ly adv. novels, in which she tackled issues 'close to the bone' of women's lives in historical and modern day Zimbabwe: of incest incest, sexual relations between persons to whom marriage is prohibited by custom or law because of their close kinship. Ideas of kinship, however, vary widely from group to group, hence the definition of incest also varies. , rape, abortion ... but also of courage, prophetic leadership, and the healing power of love.
In 1997 Vera won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Africa Region, Best Book) for her novel Under The Tongue, and in 2002 the Macmillan Writers' Prize for Africa for the novel Stone Virgins. Last year she was awarded the Swedish PEN Tucholsky Prize "for a corpus of works dealing with taboo subjects." Her 1998 novel Butterfly Burning was named as one of Africa's best hundred books of the last century.
After struggling at first to deal with the heaviness of her words, I read and re-read her work last year, hungry for more, and making plans to invite Yvonne Vera for readings in Windhoek. I am sad that this will no longer be possible, but through the pages of Sister Namibia we will introduce her work to our readers. Following the introduction to her novel Stone Virgins here, we will bring you outlines and extracts of her other work in the coming issues of our magazine.