Frances E.W. Harper Iola Leroy

ISBN 13: 9788132032779

Iola Leroy

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9788132032779: Iola Leroy

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) born to free parents in Baltimore, Maryland, was an African American abolitionist and poet. Her first volume of verse, Forest Leaves, was published in 1845, the book was extremely popular and over the next few years went through 20 editions. In 1850, she started working in Columbus, Ohio as a schoolteacher. Three years later in 1853, she joined the American Anti-Slavery Society and became a travelling lecturer for the group. She was also a strong supporter of prohibition and woman's suffrage. In 1892, she published a novel about a rescued black slave and the Reconstructed South, called Iola Leroy; or, Shadows Uplifted one of the first books published by an African American. Later, she wrote Minnie's Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping and Trial and Triumph. Harper was a strong supporter of women's suffrage and was a member of the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).

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About the Author:

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of Literature at Cornell University.


"Well worth including. I found it to be a wonderful addition--virtually all students responded well to it...sparked interesting, charged debates."--Sarah Dangelantonio, Franklin Pierce College

"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

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