Reading Oddities


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick DouglassActually, this is more of a collecting oddity. A few weeks ago I was going through a pile of used books that came my way to see what I wanted to keep. One of the books was a school text – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The 999 Challenge was in my thoughts, so I snagged it because of when it was written more than what it was – although that also interested me.

The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah CraftsThen I started reading The Bondwoman’s Narrative, a book chosen last July for my local book club to read this month. I could only vaguely remember what they said it was about. When I read Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s introduction, I quickly realized that Frederick Douglass’ autobiography was more important than I had known. I’m an older white American woman who’d grown up hearing about the Civil War and the atrocities of slavery and the problems of racism that still exist in this country. But I’ve never deeply studied African-American literature nor was assigned this book in any of my schooling.

Kindred by Octavia E. ButlerNow that I’ve Finished The Bondwoman’s Narrative, guess what I’ve chosen to read next? I thought it would be good to keep the narratives together to weld the problems in my mind. (And if you’ve read those and want to read some good fiction related to the Southern slavery theme, read Kindred by Octavia E. Butler.)