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Chase-Riboud, Barbara (1936–)

Chase-Riboud, Barbara (1936–)

African-American novelist and sculptor. Born June 26, 1936, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; dau. of Charles Edward Chase and Vivian May Braithwaite Chase; Temple University, BFA, 1957; Yale Graduate School of Art, MFA (1960); m. Marc Eugene Riboud, 1961 (div. 1981); m. Sergio Tosi, 1981; children: 2.

Moved to Paris (1961) and began to show art; came to prominence with Sally Hemings (1979), an immediate bestseller; became embroiled in legal battle with director Steven Spielberg over film Amistad which she claimed had plagiarized several details from her novel Echo of Lions (1989), and settled case for an undisclosed sum (1998); wrote novels, poetry, and essays, including From Memphis to Peking (1974), Albin Michel (1981), Valide: A Novel of the Harem (1986), Portrait of a Nude Woman as Cleopatra (1987), The President's Daughter (1994), Egypt's Nights (1994) and Hottentot Venus (2004). Received Janet Kafka Award for Best Novel by an American Woman (1979), Carl Sandburg Poetry Award for Best American Poetry (1988), and Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (1996).

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