Two years ago, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discovered an unpublished manuscript, The Bondwoman’s Narrative, By Hannah Crafts, A Fugitive Recently Escaped From North Carolina , which turned out to be the first novel by a female African-American slave ever found, and possibly the first novel written by a black women anywhere. The Bondwoman’s Narrative was published in 2002. In Search of Hannah Crafts now brings together twenty-two authorities on African-American history, including Nina Baym, Jean Fagan Yellin, William Andrews, Lawrence Buell, Karen Sanchez-Eppler, and Shelley Fisher-Fishkin to examine such issues as authenticity and the history and criticism of this unique novel. The Bondwoman’s Narrative will take its place in the African-American canon. In Search of Hannah Crafts is the book that scholars and students of African-American Studies, of women writers, and of slavery will need to understand this unprecedented historical and literary event.
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