Twelve Years a Slave

By Solomon Northup; Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Introduction by)
Atria / 37 Ink, Hardcover, 9781476767345, 320pp.

Publication Date: November 19, 2013

List Price: $15.00*
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Description
The story that inspired the major motion picture, with an introduction by the bestselling author of "Wench," Dolen Perkins-Valdez, "Twelve Years a Slave" is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery.
Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. What little free time he had after long days of manual and farm labor he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free.
In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Solomon bid his wife farewell until his return. Only after he was drugged and bound did he realize the strangers were kidnappers--that nefarious brand of criminals in the business of capturing runaway and free blacks for profit. Thus began Northup's horrific life as a slave.
Dehumanized, beaten, and worked mercilessly, Northup suffered all the more, wondering what had become of his family. One owner was savagely cruel and Northup recalls he was "indebted to him for nothing, save undeserved abuse." Just as he felt the summer of his life fade and all hope nearly lost, he met a kindhearted stranger who changed the course of his life.
With its firsthand account of this country's Peculiar Institution, this is a book no one interested in American history can afford to miss.



About the Author
SOLOMON NORTHUP was born in 1808 and lived as a free man in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and three children until his capture and enslavement in 1841. He was one of very few who were able to regain their freedom after being kidnapped and sold into slavery. After he returned to New York, he published his memoir and became an active abolitionist, lecturing throughout the Northeast about his experiences.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Her fiction has appeared in the Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere. In 2011 she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen Perkins-Valdez lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.
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