Sapphira and the Slave Girl

Sapphira and the Slave Girl

Book - 1975
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A woman in nineteenth-century Virginia is driven by insane jealousy to mistreat her beautiful mulatto slave whom she suspects of having an affair with her miller husband.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1975, ©1940
ISBN: 9780307739650
0307739651
9780394714349
0394714342
Branch Call Number: FICTION Cat
Description: viii, 295 pages ; 19 cm

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SeattleSaul
Apr 30, 2017

A great example of non-violent, historical writing with real, believable people as characters. Since it takes place on the cusp of our Civil War, one might feel the need to show how badly slaves were treated, the need for the war, sympathy for the slaves, but Cather presents a picture of something more like the reality that it probably was. There is a "break" for one slave , but nothing that hinges on grinding conflict. We get to view slavery (although not a humanistic situation) from the eyes of slavers as well as slaves. We, of course, know that officially slavery did end with the war, but it took another 100 years or so for more equality to emerge. Cather does seem at total ease illuminating the times for us, but her role as a first-person narrator (unless I missed something) at the end of the story seems a bit unusual.

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