"How all life is lived, in patches": quilting metaphors in the fiction of Yvonne Vera

Hemmings, Jessica (2004) "How all life is lived, in patches": quilting metaphors in the fiction of Yvonne Vera. In, Weiss, B. (eds.) The End of Unheard Narratives: Contemporary Perspectives on Southern African Literatures. Heidelberg, Germany, kalliope paperbacks, 235-250.


PDF - Version of Record
Download (1433Kb)


Zimbabwean author Yvonne Vera's fiction is radical in its disruption of the conventional form of the novel. Her writing style rejects linear plot structures, consistent symbols and conventional resolutions to the narrative crisis. The textile, commonly associated with the realm of the domestic which has consumed the energies of women's lives in Africa and around the world, is a recurring presence. The textile is perhaps a particularly useful motif to consider in light of the female centred experiences of rape, abortion, infanticide, and incest which are the focus of Vera's narratives. This chapter explores the use of the quilt as a structure within Vera's fictions and argues that the fragments of cloth that appear throughout Vera's fiction can be understood as a distinct aspect of Veras textual style, a style that does not shy away from the fragmented realities her characters endure. Through fragments of cloth, Vera evokes an alternative voice which speaks in familiar, albeit disrupted, patterns.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 3000145141 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Yvonne Vera, quilting
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: 41049
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:12
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/41049

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics