12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup — my take

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
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Just finished up 12 Years A Slave, and I was blown away. I've not watched the movie, but now I'm certainly going to. In terms of literary quality and construction, it's certainly in the top few of all slave narratives. (It's possible he had help in writing, but he appears to at least have been the primary author. Anyone know anything about the writing details? I'd love to hear.)

I found it to be more dramatic than Douglass' famous account. The kidnapping, the vivid descriptions of whippings (including his own flogging of Patsey), the serendipitous meeting of the man who help free him . . . much of it reads like a novel.

Most interesting to me, though, were the incredible descriptions of daily life as a slave. From the specifics of farming cotton and sugar cane, to the Christmas celebrations, to daily relations with owners. I haven't read a better account of what life as a slave was really like in the day to day.

I'm sure curious, too, if any of his fellow slaves at the Epps place survived to see their emancipation.

I'm very glad to have read it, and would love to hear your thoughts too.
 
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Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
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Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
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Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
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