Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav

Our Nig

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

Also available from:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Dec 20, 2011 | ISBN 9780307477453

    Also available from:

  • Dec 20, 2011 | ISBN 9780307739339

    Available from:

Product Details


“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Our Nig is a fascinating and revealing historical document that transmogrifies the rhetorical devices of the sentimental ‘woman’s novel’ into an early Afro-American commentary on race, class, and poverty in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

Be the first to know!
More from Harriet E. Wilson and book picks sent right to your inbox
More from Harriet E. Wilson and book picks sent right to your inbox
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top