Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative, in which the author describes his birth in Africa, his enslavement and transportation to America, and his journey from slavery to freedom, was published just a few days before the British parliament first debated the abolition of the slave trade in 1789. As a first-hand account of the horrors of slavery, it was a vital part of the campaign to end that "accursed trade," but the book is far more than merely a political pamphlet. It is the most important African autobiography of the eighteenth century, telling the story of a life of high adventure on land and sea, from the Caribbean to the North Pole via America, Turkey, and Great Britain, in a style that remains lively and engaging to this day.
This new edition includes an introduction surveying the recent debates about Equiano's birthplace and identity, and showing how the book achieved its increasingly central position among the great works of eighteenth-century literature.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The appetite for Equiano and his memoir shows no signs of abating, as this new edition shows. * James Walvin, The Times *
The book adds to the body of knowledge about a great man, Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, The African. Students now have a wider chose of resources as they study his complex but interesting life. * Arthur Torrington, The Equiano Society *
This book will change our assumptions about slavery and affect, and also change our sense of what works can be connected to this vast enterprise. It makes for what is sometimes surprising reading, but it also makes so much sense that the century will never again look quite the same as it did before this book. * George E. Haggerty, SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 *