This is the first English translation of one of the key works of 20th-century Venezuelan fiction. Published in 1949, Ana Isabel: A Respectable Girl by Antonia Palacios is a classic coming-of-age story set in Caracas in the 1920s, exploring issues of race, class, and gender and exposing the colonial and patriarchal legacy of the country in the era before urban development and the dependence on an oil economy.
A modern Latin American classic and the Venezuelan counterpart of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street (1984), Ana Isabel: A Respectable Girl broke with the symbolic realist genre in vogue in Latin American narrative works and inaugurated a new form of expression with poetic overtones.
“Without patronizing or writing a manifesto, Antonia Palacios acknowledges the complexities, evokes the atmosphere and exposes the contradictions of a bygone era in Caracas.” (Maria Gracia Pardo, University of Miami)
Antonia Palacios (1904-2001) was one of the most important Venezuelan writers of the 20th century. A poet, novelist, essayist and short-story writer, she was also a prominent feminist and civil rights activist.
RoseAnna Mueller, Professor Emerita at Columbia College Chicago, teaches Latin American Literature and Art. She is the author of Teresa de la Parra: A Literary Life (2012).