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Corregidora Paperback – February 15, 1987


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A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bluestreak
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; Reprint edition (February 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807063150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807063156
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

About the Author

Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University; she has taught at Wellesley and the University of Michigan. Her books include Corregidora, Eva's Man, White Rat, Song for Anninho, and Liberating Voices: Oral Tradition in African American Literature.

Customer Reviews

The dialogue at time did not flow.
Big Sistah Patty
Jones has an interesting way of tying past and present into a narrative that resonates within many different readerships.
gandhi
There was so much more to this novel that I understand better after a decade.
Inda Lauryn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read the book after I'd already gone through The Healing and it made me understand why her debut astonished the literary community. She created a deep bluesy world in which to explore themes of love, geneology, black matriarchy, memory, forgiveness, loyalty...One wishes she could have told more stories, had a career trajectory like Morrison's but her personal life did not accomodate her gift. Ursa Corregidora is a beautiful blues singer in 1930's middle America. A tragic accident (or is it?) leaves her unable to bear children and tormented by the twisted lineage of a line of women that will end with her. I would recommend the book for anyone interested in women's fiction, black historical fiction, American fiction. Similar theme to Beloved but much more spare prose style, much is left for the reader to infer, improvise. A slim, powerful book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pretty Brown Girl VINE VOICE on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
From the time that Ursa Corregidora is able to listen, she is told by her great-grandmother that she must retain "the evidence" in order to pass it on to her children. Initially, one would think this is a harmless request. However, "the evidence" is an oral history of how her great-grandmother was raped and then used as a whore by her white slave owner, Corregidora, as was her daughter (Ursa's grandmother) after her. Corregidora then impregnates Ursa's grandmother (his biological daughter) to produce Ursa's mother. Not only is this a disturbing history for a child to commit to memory, but her great-grandmother's resentment and distrust of men were also passed onto a young Ursa.
Although Ursa had a black father, she resembles the Portuguese Corregidora. Her light skin and fine hair causes her to be ostracized by black women and desired by black men. She expresses her lifelong frustrations in the form of song and has moderate success as a blues singer in the small local club circuit. Ursa finds herself suffering emotionally, verbally, and physically at the whim of her husband, Mutt, who begins to exhibit the same jealousy, possessiveness, and envy that her great-grandmother shared regarding her relationship with Corregidora.
Through flashbacks and internal memories, we understand Ursa's mental anguish when trying to discern between the painful slave legacy and her present day household situation. True to the mindset of the time, a woman's childbearing ability is looked upon as her only source of power and we see Ursa's torment further exacerbated when her ability to pass "the evidence" to her children is jeopardized.
This book addresses racism, slavery, and sexism on several different levels.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book gripped me in a way few others have - the intermingling of past and present, slavery and so-called "freedom," drove home the realities of oppression. When a woman whose only source of power is the ability to "make generations" is unable to have children, it echoes with a scream of despair. I recently read an article about the author, who was apparently in an abusive marriage that ended recently with her husband's suicide - and attempted murder of her. No wonder she was able to convey pain in such a vivid way.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Bettencourt on July 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
It is hard for me to review a book such as this. I do so as a woman, not as a black woman, so i realize that my thoughts will be lacking. As a woman from a culture (sicilian)that also puts so much emphasis on remembering not only the wrongs done to you, but all those done to your family, and growing up primarily with stories of hate, I was able to connect with the heroine of this book. I understood her anger, confusion, and need to find herself. This book contains a sublime beauty that is nearly impossible to explain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Suglia on January 14, 2015
Format: Paperback
A review by Dr. Joseph Suglia

When I first heard the title of this book -- CORREGIDORA (1975) -- I thought it was "corrigenda."

Corrigenda: a list of errors in a published manuscript.

* * * * *

When a literary artist belongs to a community that is denied cultural, economic, and political authority, she is often expected to write in the name of that community. All of her work, it is assumed, deals with the common experience of "her race" -- and has no other significance besides. She becomes the spokeswoman of "her people," a substitute voice for the members of her oppressed group, who have the same problems as her. Since racism is based on the assumption of an identification between race and personhood, it should hardly be surprising that literary artists who belong to minority cultures are regarded as the surrogates of these cultures, as representatives who are predetermined to write about "their culture's" marginal status.

The writing of Gayl Jones has been traditionally received in this way. Like Toni Morrison, Jones is customarily referred to as an "African-American novelist," as if the totality of her literary output were reducible to the problems of "her community," as if the communal experience of racialization were imprinted on every page that she has ever produced. The significance of Jones's Corregidora (1975), however, is not reducible to the race of its authoress.

At the novel's opening, lounge singer Ursa Corregidora is shoved down a staircase by her husband, Mutt -- a catastrophic blow that results in her infertility. After she renounces her husband, Ursa enters into a relationship with Tadpole, the owner of the Happy Café, the bar at which she performs.
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