"A rare and wondrous thing....[Fox] knows how to create a character."―Vogue
Luisa de la Cueva was born on the Caribbean island of Malagita, of a plantation owner's son and a native woman, a servant in the kitchen. Her years on Malagita were sweet with the beauty of bamboo, banana, and mango trees with flocks of silver-feathered guinea hens underneath, the magic of a victrola, and the caramel flan that Mama sneaked home from the plantation kitchen. Luisa's father, fearing revolution, takes his family to New York. In the barrio his once-powerful name means nothing, and the family establishes itself in a basement tenement. For Luisa, Malagita becomes a dream. Luisa does not dream of going to college, as her friend Ellen does, or of winning the lottery, as her father does. She takes a job as a servant and, paradoxically, grows more independent. She marries and later raises a son alone. She works as a servant all her life. A Servant's Tale is the story of a life that is simple on the surface but full of depth and richness as we come to know it, a story told with consummate grace and compassion by Paula Fox.