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By Solomon Northup. The poignant story of a man who was ripped from his family in the 1800s and brutalized by a vicious slaveholder before finally breaking free. The subject of a new movie, this saga is a true story. Northup was a literate, free African-American living in upstate New York. He was tricked by a slaver who had promised good work, then kidnapped and trafficked to the South. Community Press (2013), English, Paperback: 152 pages.
The resonance of 12 Years a Slave is that Northop went on to write his own story when he returned to freedom. His book became a bestseller in 1853, and helped build the case for abolition. It proved that the fictional depiction of southern slavery in Uncle Tom's Cabin was accurate. Frederick Douglass said this about 12 Years A Slave: "Its truth is far greater than fiction." (Historical footnote: Northup's manuscript was actually lost, until is was recovered by historian Sue Eakin.).