Gayl Jones's first novel, Corregidora (1975), was both shocking and ground-breaking in its probing of the psychological legacy of slavery and sexual ownership through the life of a Kentucky blues singer ... it predated Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Toni Morrison's Beloved, revealing an unfinished emancipation and the power of historical memory to shape lives. It also marked a shift in African-American literature that made women, and relationships between black people, central
Corregidora's survey of trauma and overcoming has become even better and more relevant with the passage of time. It remains an indispensable point of entry into the tradition of African American writing that Gayl Jones reshaped and enriched
Corregidora examines how the trauma of slavery is imprinted on the black female body and passed down from generation to generation. Gayl Jones's work remains essential and vital; I will be rereading her catalog for the rest of my life.
A breathtaking novel that stands as one of the most important twentieth-century works of African American literature. Jones captures the web of inheritances that shaped the lives of Black women in slavery and freedom, from trauma to resilience, and from flesh to spirit. Corregidora is deeply affecting and endures in the hearts and minds of readers
A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers
No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this
'Corregidora is the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women . . . it dares to confront the absolute terror which lives at the heart of love' James Baldwin
An American writer with a powerful sense of vital inheritance, of history in the blood