“A beautifully crafted and innovative look at the writings of southern African Americans facing the oppressions of slavery and the possibilities of freedom.” —Journal of Southern History

“A groundbreaking and beautifully written study of the manuscript cultures of enslaved and recently freed people.” —American Quarterly

Read an author interview or newspaper feature.

Listen to radio stories

Purchase at Powell's, Amazon, or HUP.

“An interlinked mosaic of remarkable letters by ordinary individuals during an unprecedented conflict.” —Journal of American History

“Brilliant, often lyrical close readings. . . . a form of scholarship as generous as it is bold.” —American Literary History Online Review

An “extraordinary book.” —Journal of Southern History

Listen to podcasts about the book. 

Purchase at Powell's, Amazon, or HUP.

Purchase at Powell’s, Amazon, or JHUP.