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Who Would Have Thought It?
     

Who Would Have Thought It?

by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Amelia Maria de la L Montes
 

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A major rediscovery—the first novel by a Mexican American Woman

María Amparo Ruiz de Burton was the first Mexican American woman to write novels in English and the first nineteenth-century California writer to publish a novel in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. Her first book, Who Would Have Thought It?, tells the story of

Overview

A major rediscovery—the first novel by a Mexican American Woman

María Amparo Ruiz de Burton was the first Mexican American woman to write novels in English and the first nineteenth-century California writer to publish a novel in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. Her first book, Who Would Have Thought It?, tells the story of Lola, a young, orphaned Mexican girl rescued from Indian captors by one Dr. Norval, who returns with Lola to his New England home. Though the townspeople initially shun the interloper, they become transfixed by Lola once word about the gold accompanying her gets out. Through the riveting personal story of a young girl’s coming-of-age, Who Would Have Thought It? offers a stunning portrayal of the clash of cultures and communities, and a fresh perspective on Civil War America.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The insights into class and race in this clever satire set during and after the Civil War give it a thoroughly contemporary feel. It is even more astounding, then, to learn that it was first published in 1872, and that the author was not even a native English speaker. Burton (The Squatter and the Don) was a Baja California native who married a colonel in the Union Army, and here she combines to good effect both solid insider information and her perspective as an outsider. Dr. Norval returns to New England from a trip west carrying more than luggage. While in an Indian camp, Norval rescued a ten-year-old girl, whose mother was a kidnapped Mexican woman desperate to return Lola to the girl's father. Lola is scorned both by the local gentry, who believe she is either black or Indian, and by the doctor's wife-at least until Dr. Norval reveals that she was accompanied by a lot of gold. When word of her wealth gets out, Lola is treated like a lady as the townspeople begin complex plans to get close to her and her money. The details are exquisite. Burton excels at picking names for these supposedly good Christians, from Mrs. Cackle to the Reverends Hackwell and Hammerhard. In short chapters with titles like ``Potations, Plotting and Propriety,'' Burton details the intricate mess of love and proposals-both honest and contrived. A thorough introduction traces specific themes like the novel's precocious portrayal of women entering the public sphere, and footnotes lend helpful historical background. In the end it is the story that counts, though, and this is a fully entertaining read that stands on its own against much of today's fiction. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This 1872 title was the author's first novel. Set in the post-Civil War United States, the story deals with the prejudice faced by a young Mexican girl rescued from Indian captivity who comes to live with a New England family.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101145630
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,140,238
File size:
421 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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