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1 Burnside African American Studies- Slavery and Reconstruction

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions)

by

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover

ISBN13: 9780486419312
ISBN10: 0486419312
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The true story of an individual's struggle for self-identity, self-preservation, and freedom, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains among the few extant slave narratives written by a woman. This autobiographical account chronicles the remarkable odyssey of Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) whose dauntless spirit and faith carried her from a life of servitude and degradation in North Carolina to liberty and reunion with her children in the North.

Written and published in 1861 after Jacobs' harrowing escape from a vile and predatory master, the memoir delivers a powerful and unflinching portrayal of the abuses and hypocrisy of the master-slave relationship. Jacobs writes frankly of the horrors she suffered as a slave, her eventual escape after several unsuccessful attempts, and her seven years in self-imposed exile, hiding in a coffin-like "garret" attached to her grandmother's porch.

A rare firsthand account of a courageous woman's determination and endurance, this inspirational story also represents a valuable historical record of the continuing battle for freedom and the preservation of family.

Review:

"A corrective to those who have identified the slave narrative primarily as a male genre....This particular edition, with its introduction by Valerie Smith, sheds new light on the choices its heroine Linda Brent makes." The Women's Review of Books

Review:

"My personal favorite...Jacobs confronts the contradictions inherent in the category 'the black woman writer.' By engaging these issues and negotiating a course through them, she anticipates the literary and ideological position of subsequent generations of black women writers." Jean Fagan Yellin, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"A viable alternative to male save narratives. The specific problems faced by female slaves are clearly portrayed." Ray Doyle, West Chester Univ.

Review:

"One of the major autobiographies of the African-American tradition." Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Synopsis:

This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Jacobs speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith.

About the Author

Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897) was an African American writer, who was born into slavery, but managed to gain her freedom. She was a reformer and an abolitionist speaker. In addition, under the name Linda Brent, she wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, one of the first autobiographies about living in slavery. That narrative included her accounts of the sexual abuse female slaves suffered, as well as the struggle for freedom.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Donna Butler, November 11, 2014 (view all comments by Donna Butler)
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is the most profound book I have read about slavery and its long-term impact. We think there is unbelievable violence today and there is. At the same time I think I/we grossly underestimate the intensity of the day-to-day grinding and brutally oppressive impact of slavery on every single aspect of human life.

Written under a pseudonym at the time, the author, Harriet Jacobs has been verified. This historical account was published in 1861 with the help of an abolitionist, Maria Child. It is rare to find a book written by an African American woman who was a slave.

Born in 1813 in North Carolina, she describes the daily struggles of slavery’s abuse to herself, her family and the black community. She describes the slave who was suspended with a fire above his head with a slab of pork and the hot grease running down and burning his body.

Despite a very oppressive master, she speaks the truth to power again and again, refusing to let his degrading view of her define her. What drives her actions most of all is her determination to gain freedom for her family.

Harriet wrote this book most of all to share the suffering of her community. It helps me understand better the long term devastating impact both within the black community itself and the ongoing struggle in this country to overcome the racism so rooted in our bones.



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mlovesart, September 12, 2014 (view all comments by mlovesart)
Aside from being a non-fiction account of the life of a slave girl, this book is engrossing and you just cannot stop turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next. I could not put the book down as the suspense to keep this girl safe from this relentlessly obsessed perverse man was always looming as she tries to stay hidden and live.
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Home School Book Review, July 2, 2013 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the first personal narratives by a slave and one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97), who was a slave in North Carolina and suffered terribly, along with her family, at the hands of a ruthless owner, speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith. She made several failed attempts to escape before successfully making her way North, although it took years of hiding and slow progress. Eventually, she was reunited with her children.

Without telling the whole story here, Harriet Jacobs was born a slave in Edenton, NC, in 1813 In 1825, Margaret Horniblow died and willed the twelve-year-old Harriet to Horniblow's five-year-old niece. The girl's father, Dr. James Norcom, called "Dr. Flint" in the book, became Harriet's de facto master. Norcom sexually harassed Harriet. Hoping to escape his attentions, Jacobs took Samuel Sawyer, a free single white lawyer, as a consensual lover, with whom she had two children, Joseph and Louisa. By 1835 her domestic situation had become unbearable, and Harriet deftly managed to escape, hiding in the home of a sympathetic slaveowner in Edenton to keep an eye on her children. After a short stay, she took refuge in a swamp called Cabarrus Pocosin. She then hid in a crawl space above a shack in her grandmother Molly’s home for seven years before escaping by boat to Philadelphia, PA, in 1842. From there she went to New York in September 1845, and then to Boston to visit with her daughter, son and brother for ten months. In 1861, under the penname Linda Brent, she penned this book to encourage Northern women to speak out against the evils of slavery and support the war effort to end it.

The book was published in 1861 through the efforts of Maria Child, an abolitionist who edited the manuscript and wrote an introduction to it. It had its origin in a series of letters that Jacobs wrote between 1853 and 1861 to her friends in the abolitionist movement, notably a woman named Amy Post. Historically, there was some doubt about the authorship of the book and about the authenticity of the incidents it records, but these doubts have largely been put to rest by the discovery of the letters. The story has been “romanticized” by the use of pseudonyms to protect the privacy of individuals, but those involved claim that the incidents recounted in the narrative are "no fiction." It is not for small children. The “d” word is used several times in quotations, along with a few instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Jacobs does not shy away from exposing the brutality of slavery and the immorality of many slave holders, though the material is presented delicately. She also reveals her own culpability in the affair with Sawyer but express great sorrow and shame for her wrong. However, it is a great source of firsthand historical material for teens and adults regarding the effects of slavery.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780486419312
Preface:
Brent, Linda
Author:
Brent, Linda
Preface by:
Brent, Linda
Preface:
Brent, Linda
Author:
Jacobs, Harriet Ann
Author:
Jacobs, Maryce Ed.
Author:
Jacobs, Harriet
Author:
Dover Thrift Editions
Author:
Jacobs, Maryce Ed.
Author:
Jacobs
Author:
Jacobs, Harriet A.
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Location:
Mineola, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
Slaves
Subject:
Women slaves
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Subject:
Slaves -- United States.
Subject:
Women slaves -- United States.
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
American - African American
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Dover Thrift Editions
Series Volume:
no. 183
Publication Date:
20011131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 6
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.19 in 0.3 lb
Age Level:
from 11

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slave Narratives
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slavery and Reconstruction
History and Social Science » World History » General

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.95 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Dover Publications - English 9780486419312 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A corrective to those who have identified the slave narrative primarily as a male genre....This particular edition, with its introduction by Valerie Smith, sheds new light on the choices its heroine Linda Brent makes."
"Review" by , "My personal favorite...Jacobs confronts the contradictions inherent in the category 'the black woman writer.' By engaging these issues and negotiating a course through them, she anticipates the literary and ideological position of subsequent generations of black women writers."
"Review" by , "A viable alternative to male save narratives. The specific problems faced by female slaves are clearly portrayed."
"Review" by , "One of the major autobiographies of the African-American tradition."
"Synopsis" by ,
This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Jacobs speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith.
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