Friday, November 29, 2013

Twelve Years a Slave - Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup wrote this book in 1853.  This is a nonfiction account of his life as a free man in New York  that was captured and sold into slavery. I saw the movie was coming out soon and decided to read the book instead.  I am so glad that I did!

This book is such a great read.  It is so easy to read (as in the pages fly by) and so hard to read (the content).  I think this books describes slavery in a more personal way than I've ever encountered before.  You can identify with the folks involved and truly feel their pain, frustrations, and sense of hopelessness. I think this book should be required reading in every high school in America.

Do yourself a favor and read this book.  NOW!

Amazon book description:

First published in 1853, Twelve Years a Slave is the narrative of Solomon Northup’s experience as a free man sold into slavery. Northup’s memoir reveals unimaginable details about the slave markets, the horrors of life on a plantation, and the dreadful day-to-day treatment of the slaves from the perspective of a man who lived more than thirty years as a free man before being forcibly enslaved.

Written in the year after Northup was freed and published in the wake of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Northup’s story was quickly taken up by abolitionist groups and news organizations as part of the fight against slavery. The book fell into obscurity in later decades, only to be rediscovered in the early 1960’s. In 2013 it was adapted into a feature film entitled 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen and produced by Brad Pitt.