Added: August 9, 2014 – Last updated: September 2, 2017


Author: Martina Kopf

Title: Writing Sexual Violence

Subtitle: Words and Silences in Yvonne Vera's Under the Tongue

In: Body, Sexuality, and Gender: Versions and Subversions in African Literatures (Vol. 1)

Edited by: Flora Veit-Wild and Dirk Naguschewski

Place: Amsterdam and New York

Publisher: Editions Rodopi B.V.

Year: 2005

Pages: 243-253

Series: Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society No. 29-30

ISBN-10: 9042016264 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Zimbabwean History | Offenders: Fathers; Representations: Literary Texts / Yvonne Vera; Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Incestual Rape; Victims: Daughters, Girls, Trauma


Link: Google Books (Limited Preview)


Author: Martina Kopf, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften (Institute of African Studies), Universität Wien (University of Vienna)

Abstract: »The traumatic experience of rape stands in the centre of the last two essays. While Martina Kopf takes up Yvonne Vera's novel Under the Tongue, Lucy Graham takes a closer look at J.M. Coetzee's novel Disgrace. Based on the idea that literature offers specific means to communicate and transform mechanisms of trauma as experienced by victims of violence, Kopf focuses on Vera's depiction of childhood sexual abuse. Kopf echoes Adimora-Ezeigbo's claim that literature can play an important role as mediator between individual experience and collective memory. Reading Under the Tongue as a type of trauma narrative, she demonstrates how the novel convincingly transforms the effects of individual trauma by reproducing them as narration.« (Source: Veit-Wild, Flora, and Dirk Naguschewski. »Introduction: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy.« Body, Sexuality, and Gender: Versions and Subversions in African Literatures. Vol. 1. Edited by Flora Veit-Wild et al. Leiden 2005: xviii-xix)

Lectures: Kopf, Martina. »Words and Silences: Writing Sexual Violence in Yvonne Vera's Under the TongueVersions and Subversions. Berlin 2002. – Bibliographic Entry: Info


Agorde, Wisdom. War in African Literature Today: A Review 26 (2008): 166-168. – Full Text: Google Books (Limited Preview)

Busia, Abenda P.A. Research in African Literatures 38(3) (Fall 2007): 195-197. – Full Text: Project MUSE (Restricted Access)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Zimbabwe | Literature: African literature | Zimbabwean writers: Yvonne Vera | Sex and the law: Child sexual abuse, Incest | Trauma: Psychological trauma