ABRAHAM'S WIFE by Francis J. Thompson


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Florida at the turn of the century, the uncertain status of the Negro, and the ugly censure of miscegenation all paraphrase the Bible story of Abraham, his barren wife- Sarah and his handmaiden . Gerard, a white man in his sixties, first meets Abraham- and Sarita whom introduced as his sister- in a bar in Ybor City. Subsequent encounters only confirm his curiosity about their relationship- since Sarita is not only white, but beautiful. If frigid towards Gerard in a tentative seduction. The years pass, and Abraham takes a Chinese woman, Agar, into his home- and it is Agar who bears him the son-Ismaelillo (). Only then does Gerard learn that Sarita is Abraham's wife- but that the mixed marriage laws in Florida had forced him to pass her off as his sister on their way in from their native Cuba. Sarita, at 46, finally becomes pregnant, and only after the birth of Ca does trouble break out between the wives- because of their children- and Ismaelillo's precocity and it is then that Agar is forced out.....A retelling which concentrates with a suspect fondness on the primitive ritual and fullblooded sensuality of its people, this is presumably neither for conformists nor conservatives.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1953
Publisher: Vanguard