in contempt of fate
Stories of Modern - Day Slavery, (anthology)
Launched in November 2006.

Edited by Jesse Sage
and Liora Kasten
Foreword by Gloria Steinem.
From Palgrave Macmillian
writing links
In memory - Read Bea's poem about her beloved mother



in contempt of fate

This novel is a heart wrenching memoir of a brave Sri Lankan woman’s fight for freedom and justice against incredible odds. Beatrice Fernando's story is one of physical and emotional anguish; a story of compassion and passion.  It is a story of modern day slavery, a brutal reality most of us can’t even imagine.

The youngest of 13 children Beatrice grew up in extreme poverty. She marries young but is soon abandoned by her husband and left to fend for herself and her 2 year old son. Forced to live with her parents until she can stand on her own, she answers an ad for a housemaid in Lebanon. Despite the horror stories she's heard about slave labor, rape, and even murder, she feels as though she has no choice but to leave her child behind with her parents in order to forge a better life.

Follow Beatrice’s amazing journey from Sri Lanka to Lebanon, and finally to the states as she struggles through the heartache of leaving her son and family only to be held captive in Lebanon by an evil employer who not only imprisons her, but routinely beats and starves her while expecting Beatrice to work around the clock. After months of brutal captivity and no contact with the outside world, Beatrice is mentally and physically exhausted.  Not knowing if she will survive one thought keeps her going – her son. Finally, in a desperate move to escape, Beatrice makes a pact with God and leaps from a fourth floor balcony. Amazingly she survives, but is paralyzed from the waist down.  Once again she is set against the odds, and again she finds the courage and strength to go on and make it back to her son.  But what awaits her upon her return home may very well be her toughest battle yet.

Other Publications:

Trail Blazers: Anthology - Bea's Story, Perfect Child (stories by members of the Red Rock Writers Group).

Nivasa Foundation: A new group founded by Beatrice to support the children of the victims of human trafficking. Call or write: 781-888-9880. BeaRo Publishing, P.O. Box 95, Merrimac, MA 01860. Or Beatrice.

Beatrice works with the Anti-American Slavery Group and has recently launched her own project, the NIVASA FOUNDATION (Reclaim Humanity) in an effort to end slavery. On March 9, 2005 Beatrice testified before congress about her ordeal as a slave and what should be done to abolish this atrocity from the 21st century. Read her testimony . She has addressed schools, religious institutions, and civic organizations around the country, sharing her story and delivering her message of freedom.