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Harriet Jacobs: A Life

Jean Yellin

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Prose: non-fiction, History

Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains the most-read woman's slave narrative of all time. Jean Fagan Yellin recounts the experiences that shaped Incidents-the years Jacobs spent hiding in her grandmother's attic from her sexually abusive master-as well as illuminating the wider world into which Jacobs escaped. Yellin's ground-breaking scholarship restores a life whose sorrows and triumphs reflect the history of the nineteenth century, from slavery to the Civil War, to Reconstruction and beyond. Winner of the 2004 Frederick Douglass Prize, presented by Yale University's Gilder-Lehrman centre for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, awarded to the year's best non-fiction book on slavery, resistance and abolition, the most prestigious award for the study of the black experience.

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