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Contending Forces

Contending Forces by Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins
By: (1859-1930)

"Contending Forces" is a captivating novel that delves into the complexities of race, gender, and class in post-Civil War America. The author, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, skillfully weaves together the stories of diverse characters who must navigate society's rigid hierarchies and prejudices.

The protagonist, Serena, is a strong-willed woman of mixed-race descent who faces numerous challenges as she strives to assert her independence and autonomy. Her struggles to define her identity and overcome societal expectations make her a compelling and relatable character.

Through Serena's story, Hopkins sheds light on the struggles faced by African Americans and women during this tumultuous period of American history. The novel is a powerful exploration of the intersectionality of race, gender, and class, and the ways in which these forces shape individual lives.

Overall, "Contending Forces" is a thought-provoking and poignant read that offers valuable insights into the social injustices of the past and their enduring impact on contemporary society. Hopkins' prose is rich and evocative, drawing readers into the lives of her characters and prompting reflection on the ongoing fight for equality and justice.

Book Description:
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, despite an impressive record of productivity and creativity as a novelist, playwright, short fiction writer, editor, actress, and singer, is an African-American woman writer who has essentially been consigned to the dustbins of American literary history. Though contemporary with Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Charles W. Chesnutt, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, Hopkins is only now beginning to receive the kind of critical attention that Harper has enjoyed for a slightly longer period and that Chesnutt and Dunbar have always had. Hopkins had work published in several genres, but her reputation today rests primarily upon Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South, the novel she published in 1900. (Introduction by Margaret)

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