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

Article


Graham, J. 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2017.1337689
TypeArticle
Title"A country with land but no habitat": women, violent accumulation and negative-value in Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins
AuthorsGraham, J.
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”.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
ISSN1744-9855
Electronic1744-9863
Publication dates
Online31 Aug 2017
Print04 May 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Dec 2017
Accepted31 Aug 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

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

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2017.1337689
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