Butterfly Burning) is set against the civil war that ravaged her co"/>

THE STONE VIRGINS

Yvonne Vera, Author . FSG $20 (192p) ISBN 978-0-374-27008-7

At times bordering on a prose poem, this dense, kaleidoscopic novel by Zimbabwean author Vera (Butterfly Burning) is set against the civil war that ravaged her country in the early 1980s, shortly after Zimbabwe won its independence from Britain. The story takes place largely in the rural outpost of Kezi, a small hamlet of mud huts 200 kilometers away from the city of Bulawayo. The heart of Kezi is Thandabantu Store, one of the few commercial establishments, site of the bus stop and Kezi's only phone booth (which has neither wires nor handset), and the town's unofficial gathering place. Here a young woman named Thenjiwe meets a worldly museum curator from Bulawayo and begins a tentative affair. The civil war intrudes, however. Caught up in the orgiastic killing frenzy, a soldier named Sibaso murders Thenjiwe and rapes and mutilates her sister Nonceba. Thandabantu Store is destroyed in a final conflagration, but Nonceba finds her way to Bulawayo and takes shelter with Thenjiwe's former lover, offering a pallid ray of hope. The story shifts between the perspectives of Thenjiwe, Nonceba and Sibaso. Vera's impressionistic writing can make it difficult to grasp the political context and chronology of the war, but it perfectly captures the terrifying chaos of the fighting, as well as the rhythms of provincial African life ("In truth, the bus drives from Bulawayo to Kezi.... But on the slim wooden plaque suspended next to the conductor's window, Kezi comes first, and in the minds of the residents of Kezi, of course, Kezi comes first: the bus, therefore, is seen as driving from Kezi to Bulawayo"). (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/17/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 165 pages - 978-1-77922-002-8
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-374-52894-2
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4668-0606-1
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.