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Iola Leroy

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By: (1825-1911)

Iola Leroy by Frances E. W. Harper is a powerful novel that explores themes of race, identity, and family in post-Civil War America. The story follows the life of Iola Leroy, a young woman of mixed race who is determined to find her place in a society that is often hostile to people like her.

Harper's writing is engaging and thought-provoking, drawing the reader into Iola's struggles and triumphs as she navigates the challenges of being a woman of color in a world that is still deeply divided by race. The characters are well-developed and feel realistic, making it easy to empathize with their experiences and emotions.

The novel also delves into important historical events, such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, shedding light on the racial tensions and injustices that plagued the country during this period. Through Iola's journey, Harper sheds light on the complexities of race and identity, challenging readers to confront their own biases and assumptions.

Overall, Iola Leroy is a compelling and important novel that offers valuable insights into the African American experience in the 19th century. Harper's writing is both moving and thought-provoking, making this book a must-read for anyone interested in exploring issues of race, identity, and social justice.

Book Description:
This is the story of Iola Leroy, a free-born, mixed-race woman who passed as white. Her true racial identity eventually discovered, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Later freed by the Union Army, she journeyed to find others of her family who had been disunited from each other and strewn across the south by the forces of slavery. In the process she also struggled to improve the economic and social station of African Americans. Iola Leroy is a story about race and gender roles during the antebellum and post-Civil War eras, "passing" and the associated socio-political consequences.


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