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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
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Scores of slave narratives were written and published before the Civil War - most often by men. This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Using the pseudonym Linda Brent, Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) recounts in great and painful detail the journey that took her from life as a slave in North Carolina to freedom in the North and eventual reunion with her children. Written and published in 1861 after Jacobs' harrowing escape from a vile and predatory master, the book derives its power from its unflinching accuracy in portraying the lives of slaves. Writing graphically of brutality, slave auctions, and the cruelty of slave owners' wives to their husbands' slave children, Jacobs also speaks frankly of the abuse she suffered under her master, her eventual escape after several unsuccessful attempts, and the 7 years she spent in self-imposed exile, hiding in a box-like "garret" attached to her grandmother's house. A story of courage, determination, and physical endurance. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is also an amazing and inspirational account of one woman's undaunted spirit and faith.
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