ISBN 9781779220363
Pages 288
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2005
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Versions of Zimbabwe

New Approaches to Literature and Culture

edited by Robert Muponde, Ranka Primorac

At a turbulent historical moment, Versions of Zimbabwe: New Approaches to Literature and Culture considers the relationships between Zimbabwe’s creative literature, history and politics. It presumes that literature and culture cannot be understood separately from larger social trends; and that besides being legitimate subjects of study in themselves, through foregrounding literary and cultural issues, insights into the present crisis inflicting the country can be achieved.

The book is the result of a collaboration of scholars from southern Africa and overseas, whose work emphasises hitherto overshadowed subjects of literature, exposing new and untried approaches to Zimbabwean writing. The contributors focus on pluralities, inclusiveness and the breaking of boundaries, and elucidate how literary texts are betraying multiple versions and opinions of Zimbabwe, arguing that only a multiplicity of opinions on Zimbabwe can do the complexity of the society and history justice.

Individual chapters consider the works of celebrated Zimbabwean authors such as Dambudzo Marechera, Alexandra Fuller and the late Yvonne Vera, alongside several Zimbabwean writers less well- known outside the country. Works of literature in the three major literary languages of Zimbabwe – Shona, Ndebele and English – are examined, alongside autobiography, history and memoir, questions of race in literature and racial identities of Zimbabwean writers, and the oft-neglected, arguably underrated Zimbabwean poetry. The contributors include Annie Gagiano, Caroline Rooney, Tommy Matshakayile-Ndlovu and Terence Ranger.

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Review

'With Versions of Zimbabwe: New Approaches to Literature and Culture the criticism of Zimbabwean literature has come of age...The brilliant collection of essays Versions of Zimbabwe uncovers in an comprehensive and concise way the many dissenting voices in the ranks of Zimbabwean literature, which contribute to alternative readings of national history, and as such, stand side by side with - in the editors’ words - "the opposition, civil society activists and (what remains of) the independent media [who] are courageously challenging the official version of Zimbabwe’s past, and of what it is to be Zimbabwean'.

The Zimbabwean
About the Editor

Robert Muponde

Robert Muponde is Associate Professor of English in the School of Literature, Language and Media, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has published widely on Zimbabwean and African Literature. Until recently he was Assistant Dean of International Affairs and Partnerships in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Witwatersrand.

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