Renowned local and international academics and critics, most of whom are women, came up with a groundbreaking reader on Yvonne Vera’s fictional works entitled, Sign and Taboo: Perspectives on the Poetic Fiction of Yvonne Vera edited by Robert Muponde and Mandivavarira Maodzwa-Taruvinga and published by Weaver Press in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2002. This critical reader covers Vera’s prose narratives in English such as Nehanda (1993), Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals (1994), Without a Name (1994), Under the Tongue (1996), Butterfly Burning (1998) and The Stone Virgins (2002). The reader is made up of 17 brilliant essays divided into five parts with a very useful interview with Vera by Jane Bryce at the end.
Vera has attracted much critical attention because of her consistent focus on women’s problems and her commitment to women’s struggles for freedom. In her fiction, Vera maintains a no- holds-barred confrontation with African men and the colonial system as she sees both of these as sources of women’s domination and oppression. The writer, therefore, belongs to the category of radical feminists in Zimbabwean literature. Another element that makes her works outstanding is her unique style, characterised by poetic prose and the blending of African orature with modern techniques.