Corregidora

Jones, Gayl. Corregidora. New York: Random House, 1975.
Jones, Gayl. Corregidora. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992

The story of Ursa Corregidora is kick-you-in-the-teeth powerful. When we first meet Ursa Corregidora she is a 25 year old blues singer with a jealous husband. When Ursa disregards Mutt’s jealousy and continues performing in the bars he throws her down a flight of stairs causing her to lose her month-old pregnancy. After a hysterectomy Ursa repeatedly revisits her past, reliving generations and generations of slavery and rape. She has been brought up to believe that a woman’s worth lies in her ability to reproduce. Without a womb she is haunted by her ancestors. Physically, she is nursed back to health by her boss and soon his caring takes on a sexual element, one that Ursa has a hard time understanding or enjoying. And speaking of sex, there is a lot of it in Corregidora. Be forewarned, the language is necessarily harsh. This is a short but very powerful book. Read it again and again and again.

Two lines that made me catch my breath: “And what if I’d thrown Mutt Thomas down those stairs instead, and done away with the source of his sex, or inspiration, or whatever the hell it is for a man, what would he feel now?” (p 41) and “You don’t treat love that way” (p 46).

Reason read: Gayl Jones was born in the month of November.
Reason read again: As part of the Early Review program with LibraryThing, I requested to read this book again.

Author fact: Corregidora is Gayl Jones’s first book.

Book trivia: There is little information about Jones anywhere on Corregidora. There isn’t a photograph or “about the author” statement. It’s as if she wanted the work to stand for itself.
Book trivia part II: this was republished as part of the Celebrating Black Women Writers series.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “African American Fiction: She Say” (p 13).



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