Customer Reviews for

The Bondwoman's Narrative

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2002

    An Important and Intriguing Addition to Slave Narratives!!!

    For several years I have seen Henry Louis Gates on BookTv. And I have admired his books about African-American slaves as well as his specials on PBS. Almost as interesting as THE BONDWOMAN'S NARRATIVE are the preceding pages explaining how Mr. Gates came upon this narrative of an unknown slave woman as well as how he tested the manuscript for authenticity. This book is considered a novel but I believe it is based on actual happenings in this young woman's life. It is a vitally important contribution to African-American history and should be read by everyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2002

    A MOVING EMPATHETIC READING

    Dubbed by Newsweek magazine as 'the most exciting individual in the American theater,' actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith gives empathetic reading to this landmark narrative. Known for her portrayal of Nancy McNally on the popular TV show 'The West Wing,' Smith has also written and performed two one-woman plays pertaining to racial issues in America. It is one thing to read about the injustices of slavery from a historical or even an observer's point of view. It is quite something else to learn of the daily life of a slave in the indentured person's own voice. Such is the case with 'The Bondwoman's Narrative' penned by a female slave in the 1850s. According to the editor this manuscript has existed for 140 years, and is quite probably the 'earliest known novel by a female African-American slave and the earliest known novel by a black woman anywhere.' Also according to Mr. Gates a slave escaped from a North Carolina plantation in 1857 and was able to reach New Jersey. It is his contention that she is the author of this book. Whether one wishes to question the authenticity of his identification or not is quite immaterial considering the compelling material within 'The Bondwoman's Narrative.' The relationship between ladies' maids and their mistresses is revealed in sharp detail, as are the offensive overtures by a relentless master. The slave and narrator is presented not as a human being but as chattel, valued only for what she might bring on the block.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    A must read

    As an African American woman I found this book incredibly vivid, descriptive and could hardly put it down. This is definitely a must read novel. God bless all the souls subjected to the horrors of slavery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    Inspiring

    This book caught my attention b/c it was an authenticated script of a slave. I was blown away. I loved the book from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2002

    A Wonderful Find!!!

    I am glad Professor Gates had the insight to purchase and publish this manuscript. It gives a realistic account of a slave's life and the desire for freedom. This woman turned out to be a highly educated woman and able to express her feelings and observations about life. Thank you Professor Gates.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2003

    PHENOMENAL

    A slave woman giving her account of life as a slave and at the same time documenting history. The Bonswoman's Narrative is the story of a slave woman that should be told or read to future generations as a part of oral tradition. Just as Hannah recites the story of the Linden tree, we need to recite her story to young people of all race. It's a part of our history and culture.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    The Bondwoman's Narrative

    This is a great & insightful book on slavery & the struggles to get free. The characters are very well written & the events well told.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2002

    A LANDMARK MEMOIR

    It is one thing to read about the injustices of slavery from a historical or even an observer's point of view. It is quite something else to learn of the daily life of a slave in the indentured person's own voice. Such is the case with 'The Bondwoman's Narrative' penned by a female slave in the 1850s. According to the editor this manuscript has existed for 140 years, and is quite probably the 'earliest known novel by a female African-American slave and the earliest known novel by a black woman anywhere.' Also according to Mr. Gates a slave escaped from a North Carolina plantation in 1857 and was able to reach New Jersey. It is his contention that she is the author of this book. Whether one wishes to question the authenticity of his identification or not is quite immaterial considering the compelling material within 'The Bondwoman's Narrative.' The relationship between ladies' maids and their mistresses is revealed in sharp detail, as are the offensive overtures by a relentless master. The slave and narrator is presented not as a human being but as chattel, valued only for what she might bring on the block. Ms. Craft has ably evoked pictures of the old South as well as the horrific conditions imposed by bondage. It is a miracle that these people could even hope for freedom. It is a wonder that this manuscript was brought to light at last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2002

    Captivating

    I was completely drawn into this story of a woman who accepted her lot until. She writes like someone educated who read Jane Austen and was welltreated. I belive it's authentic.

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