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Middle Passage: A Novel.

African American Literature] Johnson, Charles.

3,420 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0689119682 / ISBN 13: 9780689119682
Published by Atheneum, New York, 1990
From Gregor Rare Books (Langley, WA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

A Near Fine copy in a Near Fine unclipped dust jacket with some slight crinkling to the top edge of the real panel. This copy is signed by Johnson. In this National Book Award-winning novel, Charles Johnson tells the story of a newly freed slave and irrepressible rogue, who is lost in the underworld of 1830s New Orleans. Desperate to escape the city’s unscrupulous bill collectors and the pawing hands of a schoolteacher hellbent on marrying him, he jumps aboard the Republic, a slave ship en route to collect members of a legendary African tribe, the Allmuseri. Here begins a voyage of metaphysical horror and human atrocity, a journey which challenges our notions of freedom, fate and how we live together. Peopled with vivid and unforgettable characters, nimble in its interplay of comedy and serious ideas, this dazzling modern classic is a perfect blend of the picaresque tale, historical romance, sea yarn, slave narrative and philosophical allegory. Bookseller Inventory # 24880

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Middle Passage: A Novel.

Publisher: Atheneum, New York

Publication Date: 1990

Edition: First Printing of the First US Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

In 1830, seeking to escape an unwanted marriage, Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed slave, becomes a stowaway aboard The Republic, unaware that the ship is a slave clipper bound for West Africa.

Review:

In this savage parable of the African American experience, Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed slave eking out a living in New Orleans in 1830, hops aboard a square rigger to evade the prim Boston schoolteacher who wants to marry him. But the Republic turns out to be a slave clipper bound for Africa. Calhoun, whose master educated him as a humanist, becomes the captain's cabin boy, and though he hates himself for acting as a lackey, he's able to help the African slaves recently taken aboard to stage a revolt before the rowdy, drunken crew can spring a mutiny. Middle Passage won the 1990 National Book Award.

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