About the Author
Frances S. Foster, San Diego State University.
"Probably the best-selling novel by an African-American before the 20th 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
"Harper was a persuasive and sensitive writer, a popular and articulate speaker, and friend of some of the best-known political activists, religious leaders, educators, and artists....Long before she attempted her novel, Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted,
she had gained an international reputation as a writer, lecturer, and political activist....Iola Leroy
represents the transition from the antebellum period to the Harlem Renaissance and links Afro-American fiction to women's fiction. It is a work that has excited controversy and that is currently exciting scholastic interest."--Frances Foster Smith, from her Introduction
"Frances E.W. Harper's Iola LeRoy
is finally taking its place as an illuminating late 19th century treatment of the plantation system. Frances Smith Foster's introduction to the novel is excellent."--Dr. Mary Ann Wiensatt McClintock, University of S. Carolina
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.