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The Stone Virgins

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Winner of the Macmillan Prize for African Adult Fiction

An uncompromising novel by one of Africa's premiere writers, detailing the horrors of civil war in luminous, haunting prose

In 1980, after decades of guerilla war against colonial rule, Rhodesia earned its hard-fought-for independence from Britain. Less than two years thereafter when Mugabe rose to power in the new Zimb
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 14th 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2002)
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Fábio de Carvalho
Rarely have I had the impression of having such a good book in my hands as while I read The Stone Virgins by Yvonne Vera. The slow and detailed narration, symbolically rich and incredibly well woven, perfectly serves the feminist tones of the book and it's message of a need for self-determination coupled with a form of support from others, not for a nation but for it's people, individually. The only reason I do not feel I can give this book a 5 stars rating is the fact that, from my cultural bac ...more
Courtney H.
Butterfly Burning is a difficult book to forget. But though the memory of its beauty and the terribleness of its tragedy stayed with me, the weight of it faded over a decade. Which is why I didn’t really know what I was getting into with The Stone Virgins. I only knew that it had been too long since I had picked up a novel by Yvonne Vera. The Stone Virgins is a lyrical, lush, beautifully written book. It is prose poetry, and lovely. And then it is terrible—truly, truly terrible. More terrible th ...more
The Stone Virgins is set against a backdrop of brutal violence and profound sadness, and yet Yvonne Vera manages to craft a story of striking beauty with an almost spiritual reverence for the power and dignity of the human capacity for love and healing. In 1980, Rhodesia won independence from Britain after decades of guerrilla warfare. Within two years, however, Robert Mugabe's rise to power in the new Zimbabwe heralded a sudden and extreme wave of new violence across the country. Vera's story g ...more
(Bookclub) Only got to page 37. No dialogue. Couldn't get into the story. Couldn't follow it. Hardly ever give up on a book but I had to with this one.
Kimberly Rogers
I'm reading this book right now (well, not right, right now. . .). The author is from Zimbabwe-- the book is more of a lyric poem and I'm using her amazing descriptions as a guide for my own writing. It's a gorgeous book. Downsides: not big on plot for you plot-mongers. I've been picking it up and putting it down for about two months, but love it every time and vow to begin reading it from the beginning again once I finish it.
not a fan of the fractured, overly poetic writing, but man is this book confronting.
Kristina Reardon
The juxtaposition of poetic language with such violent scenes makes you reconsider what war means to those who experience it first-hand, and who bear its scars long into the future.
Unusual, breathtakingly beautiful prose (reminded me of Virginia Woolf). The book itself destroys.

I think I told someone I never wanted to read this book again. But lo, I went and bought a copy yesterday. Maybe someday I'll get the courage to read it a second time.
her prose is really poetic, colorful, beautiful. but the story is kind of dark. weird contrast.. but somehow works. looking forward to reading some of vera's other work. but unfortunately won't be any new stuff. she died of (what many assume to be) AIDS :(
The colonial period must hav ebeen a hard on efor those who eperinced it. Its also a feministic note on the inner stergnth that women do possess. I like that but not her descriptions of place they are tiring.phew!
Jun 10, 2007 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those wanting something serious to read
This is a disturbing but poetic and beautifully written book. Reading it is like being in a trance, but it also gives a glimpse of the reality in Zimbabwe, which I could never understand!
Incredible imagery. Very poetic, dark, and deep. It may be a struggle for some to read, but if you're a lover of words and language, this may be right up your alley.
The most powerful of her novels. So unfortunate her life was cut short so young.
frank and brutal fiction about life of women in troubled contemporary Africa
Interesting book, excellent imagery, just not my kind of thing.
De stenen maagden (dutch)
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“Time is as necessary for remembering as it is for forgetting. Even the smallest embrace of pain needs time larger than a pause; the greatest pause requires an eternity, the greatest hurt a lifetime. A lifetime is longer than eternity: an eternity can exist without human presence.” 6 likes
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