A Million Nightingales by Susan Straight
A Novel

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From National Book Award finalist Susan Straight comes a haunting historical novel about a Louisiana slave girl's perilous journey to freedom.Daughter of an African mother and a white father she never knew, Moinette is a house maid on a plantation south of New Orleans. At fourteen she is sold, separated from her mother without a chance to say goodbye. Bright, imaginative and well aware of everything she risks, Moinette at once begins to prepare for an opportunity to escape. Inspired by a true story, A Million Nightingales portrays Moinette’s experience–and the treacherous world she must navigate–with uncommon richness, intricacy, and drama.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Susan Straight

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Susan Straight's new novel, Between Heaven and Here, is the final book in the Rio Seco trilogy. Take One Candle Light a Room was named one of the best novels of 2010 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Kirkus, and A Million Nightingales was a 2006 Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her novel Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. Her short story "The Golden Gopher" won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. She has published stories and essays in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, McSweeney's, The Believer, Salon, Zoetrope, Black Clock, and elsewhere. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UCRiverside. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family, whose history is featured on susanstraight.com.
Published November 26, 2008 by Anchor. 370 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Million Nightingales

The New York Times

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At the outset, I worried about Susan Straight's new novel, "A Million Nightingales," which includes a glossary of African, French and Creole words, African tribal names and terms from French colonial slave codes.

Mar 19 2006 | Read Full Review of A Million Nightingales: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Moinette's first young mistress, Cephaline, exposes her to book learning, and Moinette struggles to negotiate the contradictions between the language of science and her mother's belief in traditional Senegalese spirits, a dichotomy that haunts her throughout her life.

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Deseret News

She succeeds to a remarkable degree in depicting the realities of slave life — using the vernacular of the time.

Apr 16 2006 | Read Full Review of A Million Nightingales: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

As Moinette makes her way from sugar cane fields through mysterious bayous to the streets of Opelousas, readers gain a glimpse of the horrors that slaves faced, their enduring strength, and their never-ending hope for freedom.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Megan Marshall Oregonian 4 of 5 Stars "This story could have been a sentimental bodice-ripper or a predictable historical yarn, but Straight manages to find a compelling balance that is both intelligent and heartbreaking.

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of A Million Nightingales: A Novel

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