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Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson
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Our Nig

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Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson
Paperback $16.95
Dec 20, 2011 | ISBN 9780307477453

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    Dec 20, 2011 | ISBN 9780307477453

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  • Dec 20, 2011 | ISBN 9780307739339

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“I sat up most of the night reading and pondering the enormous significance of Harriet Wilson’s novel, Our Nig. It is as if we’d just discovered Phillis Wheatley—or Langston Hughes…. She represents a similar vastness of heretofore unexamined experience, a whole new layer of time and existence in American life and literature.” —Alice Walker

“The story of Henry Louis Gates’ discovery of this extraordinary book and his persistent search for the true identity of the author is a notable and lasting contribution to the literary history of black Americans.” —Ann Petry 

Our Nig is a fascinating and revealing historical document that transmogrifies the rhetorical devices of the sentimental ‘woman’s novel’ into an early Afro-American commentary on race, class, and poverty in mid-nineteenth-century America. Professor Gates’ introduction and critical apparatus describe the detective work that established Harriet E. Wilson’s authorship; Professor Gates also places the book within the widest literary and historical context.” —David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History, Yale University 

“Harriet Wilson’s use of the conventions of sentimental fiction demonstrates conclusively that fictional forms were at least as important in determining how we write what we write as were the slave narratives. Professor Gates’ discovery confirms my suspicion that there was more ‘free-floating’ literacy available to Negroes than has been assumed.” —Ralph Ellison

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