Clotel by William W. Brown
or, The President's Daughter (Modern Library Classics)

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Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About William W. Brown

See more books from this Author
Hilton Als is a staff writer for "The New Yorker,"
 
Published July 14, 2009 by Modern Library. 256 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Clotel

Gr 9 Up—This historically significant book was written by an escaped slave who eventually made his way to Great Britain. Clotel was first published in 1853 and is believed to be the first novel by an African American writer. The book traces the fictitious life of one of Thomas Jefferson's daughte...

Jun 01 2014 | Read Full Review of Clotel: or, The President's D...

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