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Corregidora by Gayl Jones
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Corregidora (1975)

by Gayl Jones

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Didn't like this as much as I thought I would. I can see why it caused such a splash in the 1970s as an exploration of the almost pathological obstacles to black intimacy created by slavery and its aftermath. It's overwrought, though. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 12, 2017 |
The story of Ursa Corregidora is kick-you-in-the-teeth powerful. When we first meet Ursa Corregidora she is a 25 year old blues singer with a jealous husband. When Ursa disregards Mutt's jealousy and continues performing in the bars he throws her down a flight of stairs causing her to lose her month-old pregnancy. After a hysterectomy Ursa repeatedly revisits her past, reliving generations and generations of slavery and rape. She has been brought up to believe that a woman's worth lies in her ability to reproduce. Without a womb she is haunted by her ancestors. Physically, she is nursed back to health by her boss and soon his caring takes on a sexual element, one that Ursa has a hard time understanding or enjoying. And speaking of sex, there is a lot of it in Corregidora. Be forewarned, the language is necessarily harsh. This is a short but very powerful book. ( )
1 vote SeriousGrace | Nov 20, 2012 |
I read this a few years ago. To me this novel reiterates this premise: The sexual exploitation of women during slavery can affect generations and generations of women. So it's not always so simple as "get(ting) over it."

Alert: this is literary fiction! It is not for pleasure reading. It is an example of a novel you would read in a college literature course. Depicts the disturbing effects of slavery in the lives of women. If you like Toni Morrison, you will find this to be a compelling novel.
  firstperson | Jun 9, 2007 |
A lyrical tale narrated by a black woman coming of age in the sixties, weaving in her own story and those of her female ancestors, going back to those raped by their owners. Ursa must come to grips with her history and her mother’s and grandmother’s to make peace with her own life and relationships.

This book is dark and stark, but never heavy. The language is plain and true and always verging on nasty. Sex, rape, race and questions about one’s heritage loom just below the surface throughout, and are looked at without filters or excuses. This was a book I chose by its cover at the library – a serendipitous find. ( )
  heidialice | Aug 15, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807063150, Paperback)

Here is Gayl Jones's classic novel, the tale of blues singer Ursa, consumed by her hatred of the nineteenth-century slave master who fathered both her grandmother and mother.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

'History and fiction have yielded little about those black slave women who were mistress and breeder to their white owners. There are some facts and figures, but they tell us nothing about the women themselves: their motives, their emotions, and the memories they passed on to their children. Gayl Jones's first novel is a gripping portrait of this harsh sexual and psychological genealogy ... Jones's language is subtle and sinewy, and her imagination sure. 'Everything said in the beginning must be said better than in the beginning.' Ursa (Corregidora) vows. Gayl Jones fulfills that pledge.'--Margo Jefferson, Newsweek.… (more)

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Beacon Press

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