Birds without a Nest: A Novel: A Story of Indian Life and Priestly Oppression in Peru

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University of Texas Press, Jul 5, 2010 - Fiction - 205 pages
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"I love the native race with a tender love, and so I have observed its customs closely, enchanted by their simplicity, and, as well, the abjection into which this race is plunged by small-town despots, who, while their names may change, never fail to live up to the epithet of tyrants. They are no other than, in general, the priests, governors, caciques, and mayors." So wrote Clorinda Matto de Turner in Aves sin nido, the first major Spanish American novel to protest the plight of native peoples.

First published in 1889, Birds without a Nest drew fiery protests for its unsparing expose of small town officials, judicial authorities, and priests who oppressed the native peoples of Peru. Matto de Turner was excommunicated by the Catholic Church and burned in effigy. Yet her novel was strongly influential; indeed, Peruvian President Andres Avelino Caceres credited it with stimulating him to pursue needed reforms.

In 1904, the novel was published in a bowdlerized English translation with a modified ending. This edition restores the original ending and the translator's omissions. It will be important reading for all students of the indigenous cultures of South America.

 

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Contents

Part 1
5
The Yupanqui Family
6
Indian Loans 500 Per Cent
10
White House
11
Priest and Governor
12
Juans Return Home
17
Fernandos Gift to Lucia
19
Danger Ahead
21
Tired of Killac
88
No Need of a Warrant
91
The Wrong One Imprisoned
96
Going to Lima
98
Father Pascuals Solitude
101
Talking Over
106
Fleecing the Indian
109
Margarita and Manuel
111

A Stratagem
25
Rosalia Restored
28
Doņa Petronila
31
Marcela Pays the Priest
32
Sold to Rochino
34
The Plot
37
The Assault
42
Hope Renewed
46
Evil Deeds
48
The Indians Gratefulness
50
Melitona Gleaning News
52
The Burial of Juan
56
Manuel and His Mother
59
The Instigators Interviewed
62
A Secret Revealed
66
A Shot That Missed Its Mark
70
Marcela Follows Juan
72
The Priests Confession
74
Sebastians Bad Conscience
76
Part 2
79
Manuel a Good Teacher
82
Colonel Paredes
85
Doubts Fears and Hopes
116
Teodoras Escape
118
The Pursuit
121
Manuels Birth Veiled
124
The Hide Then the Flesh
129
A Heroine of Love
132
One Against Five Thousand
135
Fernando Enlightens Lucia
137
Martina Visits Isidro
142
Fernandos Proposal
144
The Departure and Arrest
147
Comments
152
To the Station
154
Manuel Follows
157
The Journey by Rail
160
The Prisoners Released
163
A Terrible Shock
167
Grand Imperial Hotel
170
The Agate Cross
173
Birds without a Nest
178
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About the author (2010)

Clorinda Matto de Turner (1852–1909) was a distinguished Peruvian journalist, editor, and novelist. The first woman in the Americas to head a major newspaper, she was also editor of El Perú Ilustrado, the country’s most influential intellectual journal.

Naomi Lindstrom is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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