Altered Surfaces: The Ambi Generation of Yvonne Vera's Without a Name and Butterfly Burning
Veit-Wild, Flora and Naguschewski, Dirk (eds.)
Body, Sexuality and Gender: Versions and Subversions in African Literatures.
New York, USA,
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.
||“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.
||yvonne vera, skin bleaching
||14 Jul 2006
||16 Apr 2017 21:50
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