HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery


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Some tales are stronger than others and sometimes the themes therein are explored a bit heavy-handedly, but which story you prefer will largely be due to personal preferences rather than drastic shifts in quality. Lovecraftian horror that kicks the book into high gear. The book thoroughly and effectively marries race and horror.

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It is a tense thriller, a terrifying nightmare, a heartbreaking tragedy, and a tale of holding onto aspiration and optimism even while being chased through the woods by a hellbeast from another dimension. The experiences of Atticus and co. There really were travel guides for colored people to help them pass safely through Jim Crow strongholds. Just as the leads shatter the tropes Black people are often reduced to portraying, Braithwhite too undermines his own stereotypes. He gives reparations as a bargaining chip and welcomes Atticus into his family only to exploit his bloodline.

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From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans

He uses his privilege against Atticus, Montrose, Ruby, and the others just like the rest of the white folks do; he just has the foresight to dress it up in progressive words in hopes to trick them into submission. Ruff has a history of writing fiction that twists the norm into something new and unsettling. His Cthulhu mythos has defined fantasy horror for nearly a century and inspired countless writers, but he was also an avowed racist who never hesitated to be as offensive as possible when talking about African Americans. We people of color have had to deal with problematic faves since time immemorial.

Atticus and Montrose debate how much of choosing to stick with an artist who creates things you love while spewing vileness you hate is sacrificing your personal convictions for pop culture and how much is compartmentalizing socio-cultural quandaries. And given the vitriol over whether H. Lovecraft should be the icon for the World Fantasy Awards, that debate is still not over.

He has clearly done his research here, and writes the Black characters with so much depth, variety, and complexity that I kept forgetting he is actually white.

Black Slave Owner and Breeder in South Carolina ~ The Interesting Story of William Ellison

With gems like Lovecraft Country , the excuses against diversity in entertainment get weaker by the day. Is it too early to declare Lovecraft Country my favorite book of ? It is already on the top of my stack of loan-out books. Lovecraft Country is available now from HarperCollins. Alex Brown is an archivist, research librarian, writer, geeknerdloserweirdo, and all-around pop culture obsessive who watches entirely too much TV. Keep up with her every move on Twitter and Instagram , or get lost in the rabbit warren of ships and fandoms on her Tumblr.

James incorporates into the novel passages from Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews for a similar reason: Fielding, a moral reformer, used his novel to address the abuse of power by individuals and institutions, and also the dangers of sexual immorality.

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The Book of Night Women strikes me as very nearly perfect work; an exquisite blend of form and content. But if I had to choose one element most responsible for the novel's success, I would have to say language. Not only James's expert application of an honest and expressive patois, but his clever decision to narrate the story in the Jamaican language.

In so doing, he bestows on the slave account authenticity and authority.


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James settles on the "n" word - nigger - as the chief means of describing the slaves: It is how the whites in the novel refer to the blacks, and how the blacks refer to themselves. With this indisputably political act, James affirms the link between speech and history. Most magnificently, Montpellier's slaves have names such as Lilith, Circe, Paris, Hippolyta and, especially, Homer, which evoke the West's most ancient and enduring myths.


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  • This is James's bid, perhaps, for blacks to recognize our slave ancestors, especially the women, as proud archetypes, and our slave narratives as literary epics. With The Book of Night Women , he makes a very convincing argument. Toronto writer and editor Donna Bailey Nurse is the editor of Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing.


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      HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery
      HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery
      HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery
      HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery
      HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery
      HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery HYPOLLITA: A Novel of Freedom in Slavery

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