Corregidora by Gayl Jones. New York. 1975. Random House. 186 pages. March 1975. hardcover. 0394493230. Jacket design by Wendell Minor.





   Ursa Corregidora is lucky. She can sing her terror and her longing in a Kentucky café. She is less helpless then, and less bedeviled. But there is no song to numb her - to help her forget that the fruits of her marriage were violence and sterility; that she cannot live up to the single responsibility demanded of her by the three generations of Corregidora women who preceded her: to ‘make generations’; to keep the corruption of their line intact. There is no song anywhere in the world that can help her forget Corregidora, the Portuguese who fathered his own slaves, his own concubines, his own prostitutes. Ursa is the last of these women, the only one of the line with a different father. And now her past, in which lust and hatred walked arm in arm, is indistinguishable from a present clouded with lovelessness and despair. For there is an uneasy similarity between Corregidora, Ursa’s demonic white ancestor, and the Black men who ‘love’ her. From a nineteenth-century Brazilian plantation to Bracktown, Kentucky, author Gayl Jones takes us on a strange journey: that of a Black woman trying to come to terms with womanhood in a haunted world, and managing at last to avenge not only Corregidora’s women but every abused Black woman that ever lived. This is a chilling story written with almost embarrassing power. ‘Corregidora is the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women.’ —James Baldwin.



Jones GaylGayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University, and has taught a Wellesley College and the University of Michigan. Her other books include THE HEALING (1998 National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and many others.









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