Charting a passage that takes him from life as an Igbo prince in what is now eastern Nigeria to the New World, Equiano begins with a description of his native land that includes particulars of the dress, agriculture, industry, commerce, rituals, superstitions, and religious ceremonies of his country. In stark and poignant detail he gives a compelling account of his kidnapping and his ordeal aboard the slave ship, his service in the French and Indian wars, as well as many other of his vicissitudes and adventures until he finally settles in England, where he becomes a key figure in the British abolitionist movement.
Skillfully written with a wealth of grossing detail, this volume powerfully illustrates the nature of the black experience in slavery, making it essential reading for students of African-American history and anyone interested in the struggle for equal rights and human dignity.
Published in 1789, Equiano’s narrative was the first widely-read and popularized account of slavery, and was notable for exploring the differences between enslavement throughout the Americas. It has also provided a foundation for future slave narratives.
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An exciting and often terrifying adventure story, as well as an important precursor to such famous nineteenth-century slave narratives as Frederick Douglass's autobiographies, Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative recounts his kidnapping in Africa at the age of ten, his service as the slave of an officer in the British Navy, his ten years of labor on slave ships until he was able to purchase his freedom in 1766, and his life afterward as a leading and respected figure in the antislavery movement in England. A spirited autobiography, a tale of spiritual quest and fulfillment, and a sophisticated treatise on religion, politics, and economics, The Interesting Narrative is a work of enduring literary and historical value.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Introduction by Robert Reid-Pharr
In this truly astonishing eighteenth-century memoir, Olaudah Equiano recounts his remarkable life story, which begins when he is kidnapped in Africa as a boy and sold into slavery and culminates when he has achieved renown as a British antislavery advocate. The narrative “is a strikingly beautiful monument to the startling combination of skill, cunning, and plain good luck that allowed him to win his freedom, write his story, and gain international prominence,” writes Robert Reid-Pharr in his Introduction. “He alerts us to the very concerns that trouble modern intellectuals, black, white, and otherwise, on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The text of this Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive ninth edition of 1794, reflecting the author’s final changes to his masterwork.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"In this way I grew up till I had turned the age of eleven, when an end was put to my happiness...." This way began the Olaudah's odyssey after been kidnapped and taken through many African countries reaching finally the African west coast and the slave ship that brought him/them to the West Indies and North America.
This book is published by Booklassic which brings young readers closer to classic literature globally.
Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries – but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.
- The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African by Olaudah Equiano (1789)
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (1845)
- Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave by Sojourner Truth (1850)
- Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (1853)
- My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass (1855)glass
What makes iron valuable,
Big kuku tree and big silk-cotton tree,
Fari and Kaunju -'
Told and retold since the fourteenth century, this West African epic chronicles the story of the mighty warrior who saves his people and founds an empire.
One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.