The Squatter and the Don (Modern Library Torchbearers) (Paperback)
A historical romance with an activist heart, and an impassioned critique of U.S. expansionism—with an introduction by Ana Castillo, author of So Far from God
A fiercely partisan novel based on the author’s own experiences, The Squatter and the Don follows two families living near San Diego shortly after the United States’ annexation of California: the Alamares of the landed Mexican gentry, and the Darrells, the New Englanders who seek to claim the Alamares’ land. When young Clarence Darrell falls in love with Mercedes Alamar, the stage is set for a conflict that blends the personal with the political.
A scathing critique of corporate capitalism, this story exposes the true historical plight of californios as their lands are taken away by a government with incestuous ties to the railroad monopoly—institutions laced with the greed and racism of nineteenth-century America’s expansionist agenda.
The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance.
About the Author
María Amparo Ruiz de Burton (1832–95) was the first writer of Mexican origin to write and publish English-language novels in the United States. Born in Baja California, Ruiz de Burton wrote two novels and a play, all deeply critical of the tensions embedded in race, gender, and social position. She would spend much of her life fighting to secure family land claims and won her last lawsuit posthumously, in 1942.
“María Amparo Ruiz de Burton is our George Sand–the first Latina to claim a name for herself in the literary world. Her novel is a wrenching exploration of a people cheated out of history.”