Abstract

In this paper, an anthropologist examines sexuality, feminist consciousness, and postcolonial politics in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions and in her earlier play, She No Longer Weeps. In both works, sexuality offers the promise of freedom, entails a loss of security, and delivers punishment. Reading the novel in light of the play provides insight into the sexual tension in the father-daughter relationship and suggests that Nyasha's nervous condition is in good part derived from the opposition between becoming a woman and being a daughter. Dangarembga's feminism, expressed through the power of speaking up and the erotic as power, has traces of the work of Audre Lorde, which Dangarembga uses and critiques. When directly addressing postcolonial Zimbabwe, feminism is vital to Dangarembga, but other forces, such as rampant corruption and state violence, form the backdrop for family dynamics. In the play, Dangarembga satirizes women's groups even as she points to the new government's betrayal of women.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 7-27
Launched on MUSE
2007-10-30
Open Access
No
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