Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Story of Solomon Northrop, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

Solomon Northrop's memoir TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE is heartbreaking. The fact that his story is based on real life events makes it all the more difficult to read. The abuse he endures in the South after being kidnapped from the North is dehumanizing and will shock any rational reader's sense of justice.

Anyone who's read Emma Donohue's ROOM will know what I mean when I say that the last act of the book evokes similar feelings of desperation. The reader knows that he's rescued from the beginning, but it's the unpredictable and cruel nature of his last owner, Epps, that stresses the reader. Anything could happen.

I saw the Steve McQueen's film adaptation over the weekend. It's unlike any other movie I've ever seen about slavery in that it doesn't "make-nice" on the topic to make it more palatable for the mainstream. It's unflinchingly honest and well-done, albeit, tough to watch at times and is true to the memoir in its depiction of events and description characters

There's nothing romantic about the institution of slavery as some of our citizens would have us think. It's not something to be "gotten over," either.

I hate it when I read an ebook, that after I finish reading, it I wish I had in print. ROOM is another one.