Truth by Jacqueline Sheehan
A Novel

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Born a slave, survived a free bondswoman, reborn an outspoken abolitionist, Sojourner Truth died a heroine of graceful proportions. But the story of her inner struggles is as powerful and provocative as her accomplishments and could be captured only in fiction. This emotionally searing novel beautifully infuses the historical atrocities of the 1800s with psychological speculation of who Sojourner Truth really was, beyond her social and political persona. Reminiscent of White Oleander, Bastard Out of Carolina, and Their Eyes Were Watching God, Jacqueline Sheehan’s book tells the story of Sojourner Truth as it has never been told before.

“I rode to earth on the backside of a comet.” So begins the story, based largely on the early life of Sojourner Truth. Born at the turn of the nineteenth century to slaves of a New York State Dutch farmer, given the name Isabella, the young child is sold off at the age of nine to a succession of owners---some cruel, some indifferent, all assuming that she, as a colored girl, is nothing more than property. But Isabella has dreams and fears and deeply felt faith that somehow see her through the indignities and beatings she must tolerate. Ultimately she triumphs against the most enormous of odds to speak out against slavery and for women’s rights as long as she draws breath.

A Comet’s Tale is a testament on one woman’s strength and a powerful lesson in courage.


“…Sheehan’s writing is lively and vivid and her feel for historical detail is fine…”
-The New York Times

“…an emotionally and lyrically powerful novelization of the life of Sojourner Truth…offering a new way of looking at one of history’s greatest champions of freedom.”
-Publisher’s Weekly

“…Sheehan offers a solid portrait of slavery that also brings the child and young woman to life.”
-Kirkus Reviews

About Jacqueline Sheehan

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Jacqueline Sheehan is a practicing psychologist, essayist, and short story writer. She lives in Florence, Massachusetts. Truth is her first novel.
Published July 22, 2011 by Free Press, New York. 304 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Truth

Project MUSE

Thomas Sheehan's recent translation of Martin Heidegger's 1925-1926 Marburg Seminar (Gesamtausgabe 21: Logik: Die Frage nach der Wahrheit) gives English-speaking readers comprehensive access to Heidegger's early lectures on the temporal bases of logic and truth for the first time.

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Inside Higher Ed

We will end this portion of the essay with Heidegger’s notion of truth as aletheia, the term used by Aristotle and Plato for “truth” which means, according to Heidegger’s etymological interpretation, “un-covering” or “being-uncovered.” (There is some debate as to whether Heidegger’s etymology is ...

Aug 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Truth : A Novel

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