Yvonne Vera was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, gained her Ph.D. from York University in Canada, and was the Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Yvonne Vera died at age 40 in 2005. Yvonne Vera’s "Without a Name" and "Under the Tongue" both won first prize in the Zimbabwe Publishers Literary Awards of 1995 and 1997 respectively. Under the Tongue won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region). Yvonne Vera won the Swedish literary award The Voice of Africa 1999.