“A country with land but no habitat”: women, violent accumulation and negative-value in Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins

Graham, James (2017) “A country with land but no habitat”: women, violent accumulation and negative-value in Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 53 (3). pp. 355-366. ISSN 1744-9855

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Abstract

In the work of Zimbabwean novelist Yvonne Vera, land is shown to be a complex and contested resource to which the typically abject fates of her female protagonists are inextricably bound. As she put it in a 2001 interview shortly before the publication of her final novel, “the connection between women and land in Zimbabwe is negative”. This article situates Vera’s work in the context of debates over Zimbabwean land reform, and considers examples of how the “negative” connection between women and land is articulated in her fiction through contrasting leitmotifs of abjection and habitat, culminating in the cautiously redemptive conclusion of her last published novel, The Stone Virgins (2002). The discussion draws on Silvia Federici’s work on women, the body and primitive accumulation and on Jason Moore’s theory of negative-value in the capitalist world-ecology, to account for why, in Vera’s work, the female body is invariably positioned, abjectly, at the nexus of colonial governance and what David Moore has described as Zimbabwe’s postcolonial regime of “violent accumulation”.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 23141
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Postcolonial Writing on 31/08/17, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17449855.2017.1337689
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Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2017 12:32
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 17:51
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23141

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