The University of Wisconsin Press
Beatrice of Bayou Têche
Alice Ilgenfritz Jones
Introduction by Thomas H. Fick and Eva Gold
Beatrice of Bayou Têche is a work of great historical and artistic interest: a late-nineteenth-century novel by a white woman about a black woman artist-protagonist. As the introduction for this reprint edition shows, Alice Ilgenfritz Jones was the first white woman to take an extended interest in the intersection of creativity, race, and gender. In Beatrice Jones seeks to unveil the relationships between white and African Americans during the twenty years before the Civil War by following her mixed-race protagonist from her childhood as a slave in New Orleans through her career as a free woman and inspired painter and opera singer. Beatrice renders the white author’s effort to find a place for the mixed-race woman in relation to paradigms of creativity that are not only gendered but racialized. In the process, it exposes the fault lines of ideology and literary convention that underlie attempts to negotiate issues of race, gender, and creativity in late nineteenth-century America.
Thomas H. Fick is professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University and has published widely on American literature, including women’s literature, African-American literature, and the racial literature of white Southern writers.Eva Gold is associate professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University. A specialist in Renaissance non-dramatic literature, Gold has published articles on Spenser and, with Thomas Fick, several essays on American writers.
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LC: 00-052901 PS
428 pp. 4 1/2 x 7
Paper $14.95 t
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