August 7, 2015
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
$48.00 USD, £37.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Freedom from Liberation

Slavery, Sentiment, and Literature in Cuba

By exploring the complexities of enslavement in the autobiography of Cuban slave-poet Juan Francisco Manzano (1797–1854), Gerard Aching complicates the universally recognized assumption that a slave's foremost desire is to be freed from bondage. As the only slave narrative in Spanish that has surfaced to date, Manzano's autobiography details the daily grind of the vast majority of slaves who sought relief from the burden of living under slavery. Aching combines historical narrative and literary criticism to take the reader beyond Manzano's text to examine the motivations behind anticolonial and antislavery activism in pre-revolution Cuba, when Cuba's Creole bourgeoisie sought their own form of freedom from the colonial arm of Spain.

About the Author

Gerard Aching is Professor of Africana and Romance Studies at Cornell University. He is author of The Politics of Spanish American Modernismo: By Exquisite Design and Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean.


"This discerning study delves into the life and work of Juan Francisco Manzano (1797–1854), the enslaved Cuban poet and author of Spanish America's only known slave narrative, Autobiografía de un esclavo (written in 1836, first published in Spanish in 1937). . . A valuable contribution to the field of Latin American and Caribbean studies. . . . Recommended."—Choice

"...a far-ranging work of extraordinary erudition and critical sophistication. Aching's work powerfully challenges established views of liberation and emancipation. I was captivated from the first page..."—Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones, Princeton University

"...a remarkable book that delves deeply into social and psychological intricacies of the enslavement experience that marked race relations in the Americas."—Aníbal González-Pérez, Yale University
Indiana University Press
Blacks in the Diaspora

9780253016935 : freedom-from-liberation-aching
262 Pages
$48.00 USD