Sab and Autobiography

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda

Eleven years before Uncle Tom's Cabin put a human face on the suffering of slaves and fanned the fires of abolition in North America an aristocratic Cuban woman told an impassioned story of the fatal love of a mulatto slave for his white owner's daughter. So controversial was Sab's theme of miscegenation and its parallel between the powerlessness and enslavement of blacks and the economic and matrimonial subservience of women that the book was not published in Cuba until 1914, seventy-three years after its original 1841 publication in Spain. This is the first English translation of Sab, the best-known work of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, one of the leading writers in nineteenth-century Spain and Latin America. Also included in this volume is Avellaneda's Autobiography (1839), whose portrait of an intelligent, flamboyant woman struggling against the restrictions of her era amplifies the novel's exploration of the patriarchal oppression of minorities and women. Both works will be of interest to a wide audience, including those interested in Latin American literature and history, race and slavery studies, gender studies, and feminist criticism.

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