Tsitsi Dangarembga: Nervous Conditions

(1851 words)
  • Clare Barker (University of Leeds)

Since its publication in 1988, Nervous Conditions has become what we might call a canonical text in the field of postcolonial literary studies. Winner of the Africa section of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989, it is widely taught on university courses and, more unusually for a text by an African woman writer, in high schools around the world. The novel, set in 1960s and early 1970s Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), combines a convincing anti-colonial argument with a searing critique of the patriarchal oppressions generated by both colonial and indigenous Shona social formations. Much of the book’s impact lies in the accessibility, economy and precision of Dangarembga’s writing and in the devastating logic of her cultural c…

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Barker, Clare. "Nervous Conditions". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 May 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9130, accessed 01 October 2016.]