Remembering the Nation's Aching Spots: Yvonne Vera's Authorial Position of a Witness and Healer

Anna-Leena Toivanen


In her production, the Zimbabwean writer Yvonne Vera (1964–2005) has dealt with the violence-shaded past of her home country. Marginalized stories of women and specific moments in the national history are closely intertwined in Vera's work, challenging thus the wavering boundary constructed between the private and the public. Vera's iterative return to the past bespeaks the author's commitment to make visible some disturbing and violent memories in the nation's history, including gendered violence during the years of the freedom fight. By engaging in the task of coming in terms with the traumatic memories of the past, the writer undertakes the position of a witness and a healer, articulating through her work an ethical gesture towards a better future and a viable communality.


commitment; communality; memory; nation; trauma; Yvonne Vera

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