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Our Nig
     

Our Nig

3.7 9
by Harriet E. Wilson
 

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Considered the first novel by a female African-American, Our Nig was ignored upon first publication in 1859 and lost for more than 100 years. The novel achieved national attention when it was rediscovered and reprinted in 1983. Our Nig tells the story of Frado growing up as an indentured servant in the antebellum northern United States. Like Our Nig number of novels

Overview

Considered the first novel by a female African-American, Our Nig was ignored upon first publication in 1859 and lost for more than 100 years. The novel achieved national attention when it was rediscovered and reprinted in 1983. Our Nig tells the story of Frado growing up as an indentured servant in the antebellum northern United States. Like Our Nig number of novels and other works of fiction of the period were in some part based on real-life events, including Fanny Fern's Ruth Hall; Louisa May Alcott's Little Women; or even Hannah Webster Foster's The Coquette.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012974556
Publisher:
Girlebooks
Publication date:
06/16/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
242 KB

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Our Nig 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When one hears of the ill-treatment of AfricanAmericans in the antebellum period, the predominant geographical area covered is the area of the Old Confederacy, the slave-holding South and West. What an eye-opener Harriet Wilson's book 'Our Nig' is. Telling the story of a six year old mulatto girl, spirited and tough, who is abandoned on the doorstep of a New Hampshire farmhouse by her white mother and her black lover, the child is beaten and otherwise abused, both physically and mentally, by the 'she devil' mistress of the house and her equally evil and abusive daughter. However, the little girl, Frado, perserveres and survives to fall and to, ultimately, rise again. Although originally published in 1859, and long lost to American readers, 'Our Nig' is the first novel published in English by an African American on the North American continent. It is a trenchant commentary--based partially on her life--on interracial relations in the North at the same time that Wilson's fellows were suffering under state-sanctioned servitude in the South. The fact that her home town--Milford, N.H.-- was also the home of a number of strident antislavery agitators makes Harriet Wilson's story even more interesting--how could folks so committed against slavery elsewhere fail to act on the oppression of a little black girl in (literally) their own back yard? That unanswerable question has been cited as one reason why Wilson's book failed to generate and attention when it was first published in 1859. Although the book had been first reprinted in 1982, it was only in this current edition that the editors have been able to tell the world what eventually happened to the author, Harriet Wilson. I heartily recommend this book. Both the original text and the commentary by the editors are first rate and definitely worth the time and trouble to read it.
BannieB More than 1 year ago
Gives insight to the mind of Free Blacks
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