NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The story that inspired the major motion picture produced by Brad Pitt, directed by Steve McQueen, and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery. This beautifully designed ebook edition of Twelve Years a Slave features an introduction by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, the bestselling author of Wench.
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 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 kind-hearted stranger who changed the course of his life. With its first-hand account of this country's Peculiar Institution, this is a book no one interested in American history can afford to miss.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Truth One Ups Fiction
I read this because I wanted to read the story before I saw the movie. After the first few pages getting used to the author's 19th century formal language, I read through the end and turned the last page a bit speechless. I should think even the most informed will be shocked at how slavery actually played out. This memoir makes that painful and shameful episode of our history real- not something that happened a long time ago to some anonymous folk but to flesh-and-blood, hardworking Americans. Amazing.
Humbling - a better man after reading
This book will rip your heart out, but keeps you coming back for more. I'm not much of a reader, but I had a hard time putting this book down.
I've taken a few things from the book:
Don't take your freedoms for granted
Love your family every second
12 Years a Slave
I agree with the reviews above. I chose to read this when I heard about the movie and heard interviews with star and director on the radio. If what you know about the story has piqued your interest already, read this book, you will not be disappointed.