Birds without a Nest

9780292751958: Paperback
Release Date: 1st January 1996

Dimensions: 140 x 216

Number of Pages: 205

Series Clássicos/Clásicos, Texas Pan American Series

University of Texas Press

Birds without a Nest

A Novel: A Story of Indian Life and Priestly Oppression in Peru

Written by
Clorinda Matto de Turner
Translated by
J. G. H.
Other adaptation by
Naomi Lindstrom
Paperback / £16.99

"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.

  • Foreword
  • Author's Preface
  • Part One
    • 1. The Town of Killac
    • 2. The Yupanqui Family
    • 3. Indian Loans, 500 Per Cent
    • 4. White House
    • 5. Priest and Governor
    • 6. Juan's Return Home
    • 7. Fernando's Gift to Lucia
    • 8. Danger Ahead
    • 9. A Stratagem
    • 10. Rosalia Restored
    • 11. Doña Petronila
    • 12. Marcela Pays the Priest
    • 13. Sold to Rochino
    • 14. The Plot
    • 15. The Assault
    • 16. Hope Renewed
    • 17. Evil Deeds
    • 18. The Indian's Gratefulness
    • 19. Melitona Gleaning News
    • 20. The Burial of Juan
    • 21. Manuel and His Mother
    • 22. The Instigators Interviewed
    • 23. A Secret Revealed
    • 24. A Shot That Missed Its Mark
    • 25. Marcela Follows Juan
    • 26. The Priest's Confession
    • 27. Sebastian's Bad Conscience
  • Part Two
    • 28. Fernando and the judge
    • 29. Manuel, a Good Teacher
    • 30. Colonel Paredes
    • 31. Tired of Killac
    • 32. No Need of a Warrant
    • 33. The Wrong One Imprisoned
    • 34. Going to Lima
    • 35. Father Pascual's Solitude
    • 36. Talking It Over
    • 37. Fleecing the Indian
    • 38. Margarita and Manuel
    • 39. Doubts, Fears, and Hopes
    • 40. Teodora's Escape
    • 41. The Pursuit
    • 42. Manuel's Birth Veiled
    • 43. The Hide, Then the Flesh
    • 44. A Heroine of Love
    • 45. One Against Five Thousand
    • 46. Fernando Enlightens Lucia
    • 47. Martina Visits Isidro
    • 48. Fernando's Proposal
    • 49. The Departure and Arrest
    • 51. To the Station
    • 52. Manuel Follows
    • 53. The Journey by Rail
    • 54. The Prisoners Released
    • 55. A Terrible Shock
    • 56. Grand Imperial Hotel
    • 57. The Agate Cross
    • 58. Birds without a Nest

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 at the University of Texas at Austin and is affiliated with the Program in Comparative Literature.

"This emended translation of Latin America’s first indigenista novel (Aves sin nido, 1889), written by Peruvian feminist Matto de Turner, is welcome for many reasons.... It deserves a reading now more than ever, as Latin American literature reaches its maturity, and as social struggles in the Hispanic new world continue with the intensity and irresolution of two centuries."