‘Bondwoman’s Narrative’ Authorship Researched

from the slavery-from-the-inside dept.

An interesting (to me, at least) story is the effort to identify the author of The Bondwoman’s Narrative, a novel written in the 1850s that describes the life of a fugitive slave. Although accounts of slave life have a long history in this country, with early works like Uncle Tom’s Cabin having been among the bestsellers of their day, nearly all of those books, even those purportedly written by blacks, were actually written by whites. The Bondwoman’s Narrative is different, though; experts believe the novel may actually have been written by an escaped slave. One of the most interesting pieces of evidence: the way the author introduces black characters simply as people, not bothering to mention their blackness until subsequent events in the story make it clear.

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