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Friday, January 29, 2010

"The Book of Night Women" by Marlon James

The Book of Night Women is the tale of a young slave coming of age in Jamaica at the turn of the 19th Century. The book is written as a slave narrative and chronicles the life of Lilith and the inhumane abuses that her and her fellow slaves were force to endure.

Lilith, at the verge of womanhood, finds herself exposed to the ugly truth of rape, murder and torture that plantation life as a slave has in store for her. After narrowly escaping rape at the hands of a fellow slave, Lilith is sheltered by the house slaves at the plantation, eventually being permanently assigned to the house by the plantation’s “master”. After a dire accident during a cocktail party, Lilith finds herself mercilessly whipped by her owners. This indignation fuels Lilith’s rage at the white slave owners which have control over her. Lilith joins a group of female slaves who call themselves “The Night Women,” who are all connected through their common parentage -- they are all the children of an abusive white slave driver. This group eventually orchestrates a slave revolt across several of Jamaica’s plantations -- a coup d’etat that has tragic results.


Beloved by Toni Morrison
Amistad by David Pesci
The Dark Sun Rises by Denise J. Williamson
The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts
The Known World by Edward P. Jones

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