Teacher Guide

Nervous Conditions Lesson Plan

Introduction to Nervous Conditions

Nervous Conditions is a novel published in 1988 and written by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga. It is partly autobiographical and takes place in Rhodesia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Tambu, the protagonist, describes her pursuit of education and developments in her family alongside themes of race, class, and gender. The title comes from Jean Paul Sartre’s introduction to Franz Fanon’s book The Wretched of the Earth. He says, "the status of 'native' is a nervous condition introduced and maintained by the settler among the colonized people with their consent." Like other Third World feminists of her time, Dangarembga expands Fanon’s analysis of the impact of colonization to...

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