Born into “the blessings of liberty in a free State,” Solomon Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Bayou Boeuf region of Louisiana’s Red River Valley. Twelve Years a Slave is the chronicle of his captivity at the mercy of sadistic plantation owner Edwin Epps, who tested Northup’s tenacity and self-control under the most brutal conditions. Until fate brought a Canadian abolitionist to Epps’s farm, Northup thought he would never draw another free breath.
To this day Northup’s harrowing memoir is recognized as the most reliable, accurate eyewitness account of the daily lives of slaves. As a significant historical reference, it is unsurpassed. As an authentic narrative of a man starved of his freedom, it is unforgettable.