Publication Date: April 12, 2005
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“If I could write a story that would do for the Indian a thousandth part of what Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for the Negro,” wrote Helen Hunt Jackson, “I would be thankful the rest of my life.” Jackson surpassed this ambition with the publication of Ramona, her popular 1884 romantic bestseller.
A beautiful half Native American, half-Scottish orphan raised by a harsh Mexican ranchera, Ramona enters into a forbidden love affair with a heroic Mission Indian named Alessandro. The pair’s adventures after they elope paint a vivid portrait of California history and the woeful fate of Native Americans and Mexicans whose lands and rights were stripped as Anglo-Americans overran southern California.
Set from the first American edition of 1884, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes José Martí’s 1888 prologue (translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen).
Denise Chavez is author of "The Last of the Menu Girls", "Face of an Angel", "Loving Pedro Infante", and "A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food, and Culture". She serves as Executive Director of the Border Book Festival in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Andrea Tinnemeyer teaches English, Chicano literature, and nineteenth-century American literature at College Preparatory School in Berkeley, California. She received her PhD from Rice University and was recently an assistant professor at Utah State University.