cover of book

Two Women: A Novel
translated by Barbara F. Ichiishi
by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
introduction by Brígida M. Pastor
Bucknell University Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-68448-317-4 | Cloth: 978-1-68448-315-0
Library of Congress Classification PQ6524.D6813 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 863.5

In 1842, a young Cuban woman living in Spain published a novel that was so passionate and boldly feminist in content, it did not appear in her homeland until more than seventy years later. Two Women tells the riveting tale of a tumultuous love triangle among three wealthy Spaniards: a brilliant, young, widowed countess named Catalina, her inexperienced lover Carlos, and his pure and virtuous wife Luisa. The two women start out as rivals, yet in an insightful twist, they ultimately find they are both victims of a patriarchal society that ruthlessly pits women against each other. As the story builds to its thrilling climax, they confront the stark truth that in nineteenth-century Spain, women have few paths to a happy ending.
This first English translation of the novel captures the lyrical romanticism of its prose and includes a scholarly introduction to the work and its author, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, a pioneering feminist and anti-slavery activist who based the character of Catalina on her own experience. Two Women is a searing indictment of the stern laws and customs governing marriage in the Hispanic world, brought to life in a spellbinding, tragic love story.

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