Chita: A Memory of Last Island

Chita: A Memory of Last Island

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by Lafcadio Hearn
     
 

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On August to, 1856, the Gulf of Mexico reared up and hurled itself over Last Island, near New Orleans. The storm essentially split the island in half and swept much of it away, including its inhabitants, wealthy vacationers, and its resort hotel. There were few survivors. Lafcadio Hearn used these basic historical facts to create Chita. Originally published in 1889,…  See more details below

Overview

On August to, 1856, the Gulf of Mexico reared up and hurled itself over Last Island, near New Orleans. The storm essentially split the island in half and swept much of it away, including its inhabitants, wealthy vacationers, and its resort hotel. There were few survivors. Lafcadio Hearn used these basic historical facts to create Chita. Originally published in 1889, this long out-of-print novella is a minor masterpiece that is by turns mysterious, mesmerizing, and tragic. In the aftermath of the storm, a Spanish fisherman wades into the Gulf to pick through debris. Among the bodies, he finds one that is yet alive, a young Creole girl. Her parents are presumed to have died in the storm. Raised by the fisherman's family, Chita grows into a strong, independent young woman. Her story is counterpointed by that of her lost father, a doctor who thinks that Chita is dead and, as a result, devotes himself to helping others in need. When he comes to Last Island to help stem a yellow fever epidemic, he encounters Chita. The consequences are devastating. This beautifully lush, ornately styled tale of south Louisiana in the nineteenth century is a haunting novel that is both impressionistic in its evocation of nature and realistic in its characterizations and depictions of life in this region. Jefferson Humphries's introduction puts Chita in perspective, gives an overview of critical reactions to the novel from its initial publication to the present, and provides a capsule biography of Hearn and a commentary on the stylistic influences on his work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781775459217
Publisher:
The Floating Press
Publication date:
06/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
942,155
File size:
238 KB

Meet the Author

Born in Greece to an Irish soldier and a Greek mother, Lafcadio Hearn emigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen. While working as a newspaperman in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hearn married a black woman, which was then illegal, and fled to New Orleans to escape prosecution. Once there, he began to work for the New Orleans Item. During his time in New Orleans, Hearn published several books while continuing his work as a journalist.

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