My Jim by Nancy Rawles
A Novel

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A deeply moving recasting of one of the most controversial characters in American literature, Huckleberry Finn’s Jim

Written in the great literary tradition of novels of American slavery, My Jim is told in the incantatory voice of Sadie Watson, an ex-slave who schools her granddaughter with lessons of love she learned in bondage. To help her granddaughter confront the decisions she needs to make, Sadie mines her memory for the tale of the unquenchable love of her life, Jim. Sadie’s Jim was an ambitious young slave and seer who, when faced with the prospect of being sold, escaped down the Mississippi with a white boy named Huck. Sadie is suddenly left alone. Worried about her children, convinced her husband is dead, reviled as a witch, and punished for Jim’s escape, Sadie’s will and her love for Jim, even in absentia, animate her life and see her through.

Told with spare eloquence and mirroring the true stories of countless slave women, My Jim re-creates one of the most controversial characters in American literature. A nuanced critique of the great American novel, My Jim stands on its own as a haunting and inspiring story about freedom, longing, and the remarkable endurance of love.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Nancy Rawles

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Nancy Rawles is an award-winning novelist and playwright. Her novel Love Like Gumbo was the recipient of the American Book Award. She lives in Seattle.
Published December 18, 2007 by Broadway Books. 190 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Jim

Kirkus Reviews

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A tale of slave life in the Old South imagines the hidden life of Huck Finn's sidekick, the runaway slave Jim.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of My Jim: A Novel

The New York Times

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Nancy Rawles's novel imagines what happened to Jim's wife while he was on the river with Huck.

Jan 30 2005 | Read Full Review of My Jim: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

While Huck and Jim were having their adventures on the Mississippi, what was happening to Jim's slave wife back in Hannibal?

Jan 19 2005 | Read Full Review of My Jim: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Critics were universally moved by Sadie’s short story, and praise the author’s pitch-perfect tribute to Twain’s original Jim.

Jan 11 2008 | Read Full Review of My Jim: A Novel

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