Washington Square Press, Paperback, 9780743410106, 358pp.
Publication Date: September 23, 2003
Frederick Douglass, the great African-American abolitionist, was a man who cherished freedom in life and in love. In this ambitious work of historical fiction, Douglass' passions come vividly to life in the form of two women: Anna Murray Douglass and Ottilie Assing.
Douglass' Women is an imaginative rendering of these two women -- one black, the other white -- in Douglass' life. Anna, his wife, was a free woman of color who helped Douglass escape as a slave. She bore Douglass five children and provided him with a secure, loving home while he traveled the world with his message. Along the way, Douglass satisfied his intellectual needs in the company of Ottilie Assing, a white woman of German-Jewish descent, who would become his mistress for decades to come. How these two women find solidarity in their shared love for Douglass -- and his vision for a free America -- is at the heart of Jewell Parker Rhodes' extraordinary, epic novel.
The Washington Post
[A] courageous and beautiful book.
[A] passionate, moving novel that explores the place where American history intersects with the human heart.
Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes takes us someplace we never knew existed. With insight and depth we get into the lives of these three historical people, Douglass, Douglass, and Assing, only to realize that they are as contemporary as we are. Well done!
author of The Fiery Cross
A remarkable act of fictional biography!