About this item
Penned by Victor Sejour (1817-1874), a francophone Creole native of Louisiana of African descent, The Fortune-Teller (ital) was first performed in French in 1859, just one year after six-year-old Edgardo Mortara was removed from his Jewish home by the Bologna inquisitor after being baptized by a maid. The inquisitor, supported by Pope Pius IX, vowed not to return the boy until his parents converted to Catholicism. In Victor Sejour's touching rendering of the Mortara case, the infant girl Noemi (accent over e) is taken from her Jewish family after being baptized by a wet nurse. Seventeen years later, Noemi's widowed and wealthy mother Gemea (accent over 2nd e) masquerades as a poor fortune-teller in search of Noemi. Featuring a stirring translation by Shapiro and a thoroughly engaging introduction by Weiss, this provocative and important historical drama, written by a Creole "free person" of color, highlights the discrimination not only of Sejour's time, but of ours as well.
This is a new and revised edition of a book originally published by the university of Illinois.
Also available: Sejour's The Jew of Seville, translated by Norman R. Shapiro with an introduction by M. Lynn Weiss