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The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta
The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta
The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta

The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman

Product ID : 18937406


Galleon Product ID 18937406
UPC / ISBN 884199975406 / 9780691164212
Shipping Weight 1.58 lbs
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Binding: Hardcover
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Manufacturer Princeton University Press
Shipping Dimension 9.13 x 6.57 x 1.1 inches
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Author Galawdewos
Number Of Pages 544
Package Quantity 1
Publication Date 2015-10-13
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About The Life And Struggles Of Our Mother Walatta

Product Description This award-winning English translation is of the earliest-known book-length biography of an African woman, and one of the few lives of an African woman written by Africans before the nineteenth century. As such, it makes available for the first time this exceedingly rare and valuable picture of the experiences and thoughts of Africans, especially women, before the modern era. It is also an extraordinary account of a remarkable life--full of vivid dialogue, heartbreak, and triumph. The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros (1672) tells the story of an Ethiopian saint who led a successful nonviolent movement to preserve African Christian beliefs in the face of European protocolonialism. When the Jesuits tried to convert the Ethiopians from their ancient form of Christianity, Walatta Petros (1592-1642), a noblewoman and the wife of one of the emperor's counselors, risked her life by leaving her husband, who supported the conversion effort, and leading the struggle against the Jesuits. After her death, her disciples wrote this book, praising her as a friend of women, a devoted reader, a skilled preacher, and a radical leader. One of the earliest stories of African resistance to European influence, this biography also provides a picture of domestic life, including Walatta Petros's celibate life-long relationship with a female companion. Richly illustrated with dozens of color illustrations from early manuscripts, this groundbreaking volume provides an authoritative and highly readable translation along with an extensive introduction. Other features include a chronology of Walatta Petros's life, maps, a comprehensive glossary, and detailed notes on textual variants.  Readers can read the whole book or can leap right into the story of the saint's life, which runs from pages 77 to 272 (with lots of notes, so in effect about 100 pages of reading). Instructors may think about assigning the Preface (pp. xvii-xxxiv), to orient students, and the section titled "The Translation of the Life-Struggles of Walatta Petros" (pp. 77-272). About the Author Wendy Laura Belcher is associate professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department for African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of Abyssinia's Samuel Johnson and Honey from the Lion: An African Journey. Michael Kleiner is a historian of Ethiopia and a translator. He has taught at the universities of Göttingen, Marburg, and Hamburg, as well as at Addis Ababa University. From the Back Cover "Rarely have I read a text that offered as many possibilities as this story of the seventeenth-century Ethiopian saint Walatta Petros, a multidimensional woman worthy of study. Belcher and Kleiner have given a new generation of readers access to this full biography of a formidable resister to European colonization, as well as keen insight into her communities and relationships with women."--Salamishah Tillet, University of Pennsylvania "The revolutionary Ethiopian saint Walatta Petros finally has the translation into English that she deserves. Faithful, well-researched, and accessible, this volume brings to light a fascinating example of women's leadership in the early modern world."--Getatchew Haile, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University "Wendy Belcher and Michael Kleiner's annotated English translation of the biography of Walatta Petros combines rigorous textual scholarship with a fresh, vivid, and intimate portrait of the saint in her context. This stimulating volume will challenge general readers' view of Africa as 'the land of orality.'"--Alessandro Bausi, University of Hamburg "This beautifully translated biography tells the fascinating story of an influential seventeenth-century Ethiopian leader. Based on meticulous scholarship using the oldest manuscripts, and including an accessible introduction, color illustrations, and helpful footnotes, this is a significant contribution to Ethiopian and wo