Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave

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Overview


Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave is the first fugitive slave narrative in American history. Because Grimes wrote and published his narrative on his own, without deference to white editors, publishers, or sponsors, his Life has an immediacy, candor, and no-holds-barred realism unparalleled in the famous antebellum slave narratives of the period. This edition of Grimes's autobiography represents a historic partnership between noted scholar of the African American slave narrative, William L. Andrews, and Regina Mason, Grimes's great-great-great-granddaughter. Their extensive historical and genealogical research has produced an authoritative, copiously annotated text that features pages from an original Grimes family Bible, transcriptions of the 1824 correspondence that set the terms for the author's self-purchase in Connecticut (nine years after his escape from Savannah, Georgia), and many other striking images that invoke the life and times of William Grimes.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In the first modern published edition of this classic, Andrews and Mason have combined research detective work with lucid writing to reveal a compelling story of the brutality of southern slavery as well as the burdens of free black life in New England. This is a unique work of historical recovery, humanity, and scholarship."--David W. Blight, Yale University

"If you thought you knew the plot of slave narratives, read William Grimes's version of these stories of bondage and freedom, and think again. If you thought that slavery has no relevance today, consider the contributions of Grimes's living descendant, Regina Mason, and the expert editing and commentary of Professor William L. Andrews, internationally renowned expert on African American autobiography. If you think this is a fantastic addition to our understanding of American culture, you are right!"--Frances Smith Foster, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women's Studies, Emory University

"[A] pathbreaking edition...Andrews contributes deep knowledge of antebellum America to the book while Mason, energized by the human passion to discover truths about our complicated ancestries because such truths are essential to our survival, contributes an impressive range of specific historical information about Grimes and the various characters in his life and milieu...The successful collaboration between Andrews and Mason offers a model of how scholars can emerge from the academic fortress to collaborate with nonacademics and engage the world in ways that genuinely matter." --African American Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195343328
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/24/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 848,566
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English and Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt (1980) and To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760-1865 (1986). He is co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature (1997) and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (2003), and general editor of The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1998).

Regina E. Mason, Grimes's great-great-great-granddaughter, has spent fifteen years exploring the life and times of autobiographer William Grimes, his wife, their children, and the communities in which they lived. She enjoys genealogy and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction by William L. Andrews
Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave
Chronology: the life and times of William Grimes
Afterword by Regina E. Mason

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