"For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup's tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement." --Ira Berlin, from the Introduction "When I read ["Twelve Years a Slave"] for the first time, it was like the first time I read Anne Frank's diary. And I wondered to myself, 'Why isn't this book on everyone's bookshelf.' . . . For me, it's a classic. It should be in every school." --Steve McQueen, director of the film adaptation of "Twelve Years a Slave, "in "Entertainment Weekly" "Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup's story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe." "--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Root"" "A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's 'many thousands gone' who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the 'peculiar institution.'" --"Saturday Review"
An official tie-in edition of this eloquent and powerful memoir, to accompany Steve McQueen's major new film starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Quvenzhané Wallis.
Solomon Northup is a free man, living in New York. Then he is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Drugged, beaten, given a new name and transported away from his wife and children to a Louisiana cotton plantation, Solomon will die if he reveals his true identity. This is the searing true story of his twelve years as a slave: the endless brutality, daily humiliations and constant fear, but also the small ways in which he and his fellow men try to survive.
Twelve Years a Slave is a unique, unflinching record of slavery from the inside, and the incredible account of one man whose life was ripped from him - and who fought to get it back.
'A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's "many thousands gone" who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation' - Saturday Review
'I could not believe that I had never heard of this book. It felt as important as Anne Frank's diary, only published nearly a hundred years before' - Steve McQueen
Solomon Northup was a free man kidnapped into slavery in Washington, D.C. in 1841. Shortly after
his escape, he published his memoirs to great acclaim and brought legal action against his
abductors, though they were never prosecuted. The details of his life thereafter are unknown, but he is believed to have died in Glen Falls, New York, around 1863.