Thursday, January 2, 2014

Twelve Years a Slave Discussion Set At Stowe Center

"Twelve Years a Slave" is one of 2013's top critically acclaimed feature films -- but it was a true story first, and then a book, published shortly after Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

The full title is "Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, Rescued in 1853, from a Cotton Plantation Near the Red River in Louisiana."

In a special edition of the Nook Farm Book Talks  Wednesday, Jan. 22, attendees will get a chance to dicuss this gripping and disturbing of human inhumanity -- and human courage.

Nook Farm Book Talk is an informal book discussion, a collaboration between the Stowe Center and The Mark Twain House & Museum. The discussion of "Twelve Years a Slave" takes place at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford beginning at 5 pm. The book is available in the Stowe Center bookshop.

Northrup was an African American born free in New York State, kidnapped in Washington, DC, sold into slavery, and kept in bondage for 12 years before the American Civil War. He provided details of slave markets in DC and New Orleans, and described at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.

Published in 1853, Northup's book was a bestseller. His facts supported Stowe's fictional narrative in detail, as the area where Northup was enslaved was close to the fictional setting of Simon Legree's plantation on the Red River, where much of Stowe's narrative takes place.

The event is free, but registration is encouraged at 860-522-9258, Ext. 317.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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