An American Quilt

Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery
CD - unabridged
Audio (11 discs)
Product Number: DD37731
Released: May 01, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781538548288
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When we think of slavery, most of us think of the American South. We think of back-breaking fieldwork on plantations. We don't think of slavery in the North, nor do we think of the grueling labor of urban and domestic slaves. Rachel May's rich new book explores the far reach of slavery, from New England to the Caribbean, the role it played in the growth of mercantile America, and the bonds between the agrarian south and the industrial north in the antebellum era-all through the discovery of a remarkable quilt. While studying objects in a textile collection, May opened a veritable treasure trove: a carefully folded, unfinished quilt made of 1830s-era fabrics, its backing containing fragile, aged papers with the dates 1798, 1808, and 1813, the words "shuger," "rum," "casks," and "West Indies," repeated over and over, along with "friendship," "kindness," "government," and "incident." The quilt top sent her on a journey to piece together the story of Minerva, Eliza, Jane, and Juba-the enslaved women behind the quilt-and their owner, Susan Crouch. May brilliantly stitches together the often-silenced legacy of slavery by revealing the lives of these urban enslaved women and their world. Beautifully written and richly imagined, An American Quilt is a luminous historical examination and an appreciation of a craft that provides such a tactile connection to the past.


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An American Quilt
Product Number: BX00071624
Product Number:Z100132931
Product Number:DD37731

All formats/editions

Author(s): Rachel May
Narrator(s): Carrington MacDuffie
Product Number Z100132931
Released: May 01, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781538548325

Professional reviews

"Carrington MacDuffie narrates this work of creative nonfiction. As the author researched the history of a quilt that had traveled from South Carolina to Rhode Island, she managed to trace the American slavery system south to north, and back again. Due to lack of documentation, May had to imagine lives for the enslaved people she found through the quilt, while the lives of their owners were well documented in letters, official documents, and their homes. The text begs for more emotion from the narrator. MacDuffie doesn't do justice to the exhaustive research May carried out--archival research into slave narratives and trips to different states and to Cuba. Nonetheless, this is a worthwhile listen, unspooling real and imagined lives from an unfinished quilt. M.P.P. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"

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