Harriet E. Wilson
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS, p. 629, Yolanda Page, ed., Greenwood Press, 2007
7 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2011
Date Written: 2007
Very little is known about the life of Harriet E. Wilson, the first African American female novelist and author of Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. After its first printing in 1859, the novel and its author disappeared from American literary consciousness. In 1983, Henry Louis Gates reintroduced Wilson and her text to American readers. Three letters included in the original appendix of Our Nig provide some biographical details about Wilson. The text of Our Nig can also be mined for information on Wilson. However, scholars emphasize that the novel cannot be read as purely autobiographical.
Keywords: Harriet E. Wilson, African American writer, novelist, slavery, Our Nig
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