Barbara Chase-Riboud is an award-winning poet, novelist, scholar, and sculptor. Hottentot Venus, a 2004 BCALA Literary Award winner, focuses on Sarah Blaartman, an African tribewoman who, because of her prominent sexual characteristics, was paraded as a freak before audiences in England and Paris. This mesmerizing novel reflects the racism and cruelty of turn-of-the-century Eurocentric culture, but it also reveals Sarah's remarkable strength of spirit.More
"In 1810, Sarah Baartman sailed willingly from her home in South Africa to England with her English husband, believing that fame awaited her as an African dancing queen. Well, she certainly found fame. Based on the true story of a woman who was exhibited as part of a freak show in London's Piccadilly and upon her death at age 27 was publicly dissected in France, this novel by poet, sculptor and novelist Chase-Riboud (Sally Hemings) conveys Sarah's victimization so well that the reader is still cringing after the last page is turned.....Kudos to Chase-Riboud for exploring this story of oppression and for humanizing a woman who was virtually regarded as an animal, according to the ideology of the day." (Publishers Weekly)
"A compelling story about racism and sexism and European imperialism, a story about the cruelty of curiosity that, in the end, should force many people to take a long hard look at themselves." (Ebony)
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