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Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative Of Negro Life North And South
by Pauline E. Hopkins
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"An excellent study of the current Supreme Court . . . it is comprehensive in ite understanding of the Rehnquist Court's place in the postwar political and judicial era, especially from the Warren Court period to the present." -- Criminal Justice Review
"A gift to the profession (and to our students) to have the Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women's Writers in affordable paperback."--Janet Gabler-Hover, Georgia State Univ.
"Brilliant...her masterwork."--Eric J. Sundquist in The New York Times Book Review
"Terrific romance!"--Leonard Cassuto, Fordham University, Lincoln Center
"Fits into my course wonderfully."--Noelle Arrangoiz, University of Denver
In Contending Forces (1900), her best-known novel and her only work of fiction published in book form during her lifetime, Pauline Hopkins uses the conventions of the sentimental romance as she seeks to encourage social change. In its pages we encounter noble heroes and virtuous heroines, exotic settings, unsavory villains, melodramatic scenes, and a star-crossed love affair. Both an extraordinarily detailed examination of black life in nineteenth-century America and a richly textured and engrossing piece of fiction, Contending Forces remains one of the most important works produced by an African-American before World War I.
The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature
(in full Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South) Novel by Pauline Hopkins, published in 1900. The complicated plot of Contending Forces follows a mixed-race family from early 19th-century slavery in the West Indies and the southern United States to early 20th-century Massachusetts. The story centers on Will and his sister Dora as each works to improve the social and political situations faced by African-Americans. Their marriages to ideological opposites suggest Hopkins' hopes for reconciling the contrary philosophies of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Other characters are used to depict the horrors of rape, lynching, racism, and sexism. Contending Forces is especially notable as one of the earliest novels by an African-American woman.
About the Author
Richard Yarborough is at University of California, Los Angeles.
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