Nervous Conditions
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Contributed by Zonia Jines

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Overview
Author
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Year Published
1988
Type
Fiction
Genre
Culture
About the Title

The title, Nervous Conditions, comes from a statement Dangarembga uses as the prologue to her novel - ’The condition of native is a nervous condition’ - taken from the [Jean-Paul Sartre’s] introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1963), in which he wrote about the psychosocial effects of colonization. Thus, illness is a preexistent, thematic condition under which the events of the novel take place. For Nyasha and Tambu, the condition of native as a nervous condition comprises not only colonization but also the condition of gender and the condition of female education. Their attempts to function in a society that does not allow them socially acceptable verbal or written outlets as educated, female Africans result in their being punished for inappropriate expressions of dissatisfaction and anger

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