Altered Surfaces: The Ambi Generation of Yvonne Vera's Without a Name and Butterfly Burning


Hemmings, Jessica (2005) Altered Surfaces: The Ambi Generation of Yvonne Vera's Without a Name and Butterfly Burning. In, Veit-Wild, Flora and Naguschewski, Dirk (eds.) Body, Sexuality and Gender: Versions and Subversions in African Literatures. New York, USA, Ropodi, 173-186.

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Description/Abstract

Yvonne Vera's novellas Without a Name and Butterfly Burning both depict the use of skin-bleaching creams. This paper explores the role of skin bleaching in Vera's fiction and argues that in many instances the skin of the human body is treated much like textile. Informed by critical textile theory, analysis of Vera's writing reveals that cloth, be it textile or skin, acts as a litmus paper for physical and physiological pain. Regrettably, constructing the body in this manner, reveals the racism Vera's writing exposes to be far more than skin deep, a claim ironically also staked by the companies who advertise the dangerous wonders of skin bleaching.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: “Altered Surfaces: The Ambi Generation of Yvonne Vera's Without a Name and Butterfly Burning” is published in the juried book Body, Sexuality and Gender, eds. Flora Veit-Wild and Dirk Naguschewski, Rodopi Publishers, Amsterdam, 2005. The chapter developed out of the juried conference paper entitled “Altered Surfaces: Cloth and Skin Bleaching in Yvonne Vera’s Without a Name” presented at the Versions and Subversions Conference on African Literatures, Berlin, Germany, May 2002. Travel to the conference was partially funded by a University of Edinburgh Conference Grant. Editor Flora Veit-Wild is recognized as a leading authority of Zimbabwean literature, the subject area of the paper.
ISBNs: 9042016264 (hardback)
Keywords: yvonne vera, skin bleaching
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Art
ePrint ID: 41048
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:26
Publisher: Ropodi
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/41048

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