Without a Name and Under the Tongue (by Yvonne Vera)
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. "Without a Name" and "Under the Tongue" both won first prize in the Zimbabwe Publishers' Literary Awards of 1995 and 1997 respectively. Under the Tongue won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region).
- Farrar Straus Giroux
- 0374528160, 9780374528164