Iola Leroy (Penquin Classics)

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9780143106043: Iola Leroy (Penquin Classics)

First published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood. After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrace her heritage, committing herself to improving the conditions for blacks in America.

Through her fascinating characters-including Iola's brother, who fights at the front in a colored regiment-Harper weaves a vibrant and provocative chronicle of the Civil War and its consequences through African American eyes in this critical contribution to the nation's literature.

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Review:

A most useful novel by which to teach the conflicts surrounding race and gender in the nineteenth century. ( Leonard Cassuto, Fordham University)

Well worth including. I found it to be a wonderful addition ( virtually all students responded well to it...sparked interesting, charged debates.)

Probably the best-selling novel by an African-American before the twentieth century. ( The New York Times)

For all its heavy-handed moralizing, [ Iola Leroy] purposefully fought the prevailing negative views about blacks. ( Essence)

Clearly Harper's words prove her awareness of the cultural and political functions of narrative. With its intricate plot, about a mulatto who first assumes she is white, subsequently learns she is the daughter of a slave ('the child follows the condition of its mother') and is therefore black, and who ultimately makes the conscious choice not to pass for white but to live as a black woman, Iola Leroy is a novel filled with the complexities and contradictions of black-and-female existence in America in the nineteenth century. While the success of the novel is indisputable in terms of copies sold, what is harder to measure is the extent to which it altered cultural and racial attitudes. ( The Women's Review of Books)

Splendid novel, broad and useful portrait of society during reconstruction from the black point of view. ( Leonard Cassuto, Fordham University, Lincoln Center)

Praise for the series:

What an astonishing gift...the collection is! ( Alice Walker)

The collaboration among The Schomburg Center, Oxford University Press, and these exceptional scholars is an extraordinary event...but the collection is a spectacular achievement. ( Toni Morrison)

In an editorial feat of epic proportions, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has rescued the vast writings of nineteenth-century black women from oblivion....He has reinstated black literary ancestresses to their positions of prominence....Groundbreaking. ( Marcellus Blount, The Village Voice Literary Supplement)

A literary treasure-chest....A collection we will have to turn to again and again. ( The Women's Review of Books)

[With] The Schomburg Library, I feel as if I were watching a gigantic ebony figure being unearthed. It is a woman writing. ( The Washington Post Book World)

About the Author:

Frances Ellen Watkins HArper (1825-1911) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to free parents. In addition to becoming an esteemed poet and essayist, she was a respected activist for women's rights and the abolitionist movement.

Hollis Robbins is a professor of humanities at the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University and affiliated faculty with the Center for Africana Studies.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the WEB Du Bois Institute for African and American Research at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books, as well as a producer and writer of documentaries on African American history and culture. He lives in Massachusetts.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. First published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood. After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrace her heritage, committing herself to improving the conditions for blacks in America. Through her fascinating characters - including Iola s brother, who fights at the front in a colored regiment - Harper weaves a vibrant and provocative chronicle of the Civil War and its consequences through African American eyes in this critical contribution to the nation s literature. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143106043

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. First published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood. After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrace her heritage, committing herself to improving the conditions for blacks in America. Through her fascinating characters - including Iola s brother, who fights at the front in a colored regiment - Harper weaves a vibrant and provocative chronicle of the Civil War and its consequences through African American eyes in this critical contribution to the nation s literature. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143106043

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