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With a New Introduction and Notes by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Richard J. Ellis
A fascinating fusion of two literary models of the nineteenth century, the sentimental novel and the slave narrative, Our Nig, apart from its historical significance, is a deeply ironic and highly readable work, tracing the trials and tribulations of Frado, a mulatto girl abandoned by her white mother after the death of the child’s black father, who grows up as an indentured servant to a white family in nineteenth-century Massachusetts.
This definitive edition of Our Nig includes a new Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Richard J. Ellis and a set of appendices: “Harriet Wilson’s Career as a Spiritualist”; “Hattie E. Wilson in the Banner of Light and Spiritual Scientist” a collection of her extant contributions to these newspapers; “Documents from Harriet Wilson's Life in Boston,” and a compilation of primary source material relating to Wilson’s identity. There is also a new chronology of the life of Harriet Wilson by Richard J. Ellis, as well as an up-to-date Select Bibliography of current scholarship regarding Harriet Wilson. This edition gives the fullest account to date of the life of Harriet Wilson, filling out many critical points regarding her life after writing Our Nig, in particular when she became a “medium” who communicated with the dead and as an educator in the “Spiritualist” movement after the Civil War.