It pays to talk with new colleagues about The Arabella Chapman Project!
Meeting the great specialist of black women’s utopian novels, Giulia Fabi, at a meeting of the Collegium for African American Research, my thoughts turned to Arabella’s younger sister, Harriet Alfarata Chapman. Alfarata, as she was known in the family, was the author of a utopian novel published in 1923, Idealia, a Utopian Dream, or Resthaven. Stay tuned here for more her on the novel and how it fits into that literary genre.
In the meantime, I went back to the albums to look at Alfarata’s portraits. We originally identified two: The first, Alfarata as a girl, and the second, Alfarata with Arabella at Pleasant Island. I studied the faces and made a new connection. The face we knew to be Alfarata, was the very same as that we had originally labeled “Woman with Lace Blouse.”
Here, in three portraits, is the face of the young woman novelist who has captured our imagination for her literary pursuit!