Clotel: or, The President's Daughter (Modern Library Classics) (Paperback)

Clotel: or, The President's Daughter (Modern Library Classics) Cover Image
By William W. Brown, Hilton Als (Introduction by)
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The first novel published by an African American, Clotel takes up the story, in circulation at the time, that Thomas Jefferson fathered an illegitimate mulatto daughter who was sold into slavery. Powerfully reimagining this story, and weaving together a variety of contemporary source materials, Brown fills the novel with daring escapes and encounters, as well as searing depictions of the American slave trade. An innovative and challenging work of literary invention, Clotel is receiving much renewed attention today.

William Wells Brown, though born into slavery, escaped to become one of the most prominent reformers of the nineteenth century and one of the earliest historians of the black experience. This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition reproduces the first, 1853, edition of Clotel and includes, as did that edition, his autobiographical narrative, "The Life and Escape of William Wells Brown," plus newly written notes.

About the Author

William Wells Brown (ca. 1814–1884) was an abolitionist and social reformer best remembered as the United States’ first black novelist and playwright, as well as one of the earliest African-American historians. After escaping from slavery on New Year’s Day in 1834, he went on to publish a bestselling memoir, a collection of antislavery songs, the novel Clotel, and many other highly regarded works.

Hilton Als is a staff writer for The New Yorker. His work also appears in The New York Review of Books. He is the author of The Women and White Girls. He lives in New York.

Praise For…

"A remarkable beginning for African-American fiction."
--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780679783237
ISBN-10: 0679783237
Publisher: Modern Library
Publication Date: January 9th, 2001
Pages: 256
Language: English
Series: Modern Library Classics