Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 1.1 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859-1930) was an African American novelist, playwright, and historian. Born in Portland, Maine, Hopkins was raised in Boston by her mother and adopted father. Supported in her academic pursuits from a young age, Hopkins excelled at Girls High School, where she won a local competition for her essay on the raising of children. In 1877, she began her career as a dramatist with a production in Saratoga, which encouraged her to write a musical entitled Slaves' Escape; or, The Underground Railroad (1880). In 1900, she published "Talma Gordon," now considered the first mystery story written by an African American author. Having established herself as a professional writer, she published three serial novels in the periodical The Colored American Magazine, including Hagar's Daughter: A Story of Southern Caste Prejudice (1901-1902) and Winona: A Tale of Negro Life in the South and Southwest (1902-1903). Often compared to her contemporaries Charles Chestnutt and Paul Laurence Dunbar, Hopkins made a name for herself as a successful and ambitious author who advocated for the rights of African Americans at a time of intense violence and widespread oppression.


"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