I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem is an award winning novel by author Maryse Condé. In this book, Condé imagines the life of Tituba: one of the most fascinating and influential women in American history. In 1692, Tituba was a slave of Reverend Samuel Parris. She was one of the first individuals accused of witchcraft in Salem Village, and one of the first to confess. Little is known of Tituba beyond what appears in 17th century trial records, and she has fascinated historians and history lovers for more than three hundred years.
About her book, Condé says, “… I decided I was going to write her story out of my own dreams. … Tituba is the opposite of a historical novel. I was not interested at all in what her real life could have been. … I really invented Tituba. I gave her a childhood, an adolescence, an old age.” (paperback, 1992)
Translated from the French. Winner of France’s prestigious Grand Prix Litéraire de la Femme award in 1986.
Acclaim for I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem:
“Condé is one of the most prolific writers of the Caribbean and perhaps the most powerful woman’s voice in contemporary literature of the Americas. Her interpretation of the Salem witch trials, recast from her own dreams, is a remarkable work of historical fiction that is a haunting and powerful reminder of the dangers of intolerance of differences.” ‑Choice
“Condé is able to blend the fictional with the factual and imbue island scenes with remarkable lushness and enchantment … just as Tituba’s voice should never have been silenced, Condé is too important a discovery for American audiences to ignore.” –Chicago Tribune
“Powerful … It is impossible to read her novels and not come away from them with both a sadder and more exhilarating understanding of the human heart.” –New York Times Book Review
“Maryse Condé’s imaginative subversion of historical records forms a critique of contemporary American society and its ingrained racism and sexism that is as discomfiting as Arthur Miller’s critique, based on the same historical material, of McCarthyism and 1950s America in his play ‘The Crucible.’” –Boston Sunday Globe
“Maryse Condé is a sorcerer of prose, and in this richly imagined novel, our past and present meet like the earth and sky of the horizon.” -Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University