A remarkable account of early slavery and later freedom, "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano" is the 1789 autobiography of former slave Olaudah Equiano. His life is a tale of terror as well as an exciting adventure. He tells of his abduction from Africa at the age of ten, and his subsequent years of labor on slave ships. During and after this time, he fervently attempts to gain independence. He studies the Bible and carefully saves his money. After surviving a decade in this way, Equiano is able to purchase his own freedom in 1766. What follows is his success in business, in literacy, and in his outspoken condemnation of the slave trade. Considered an admirable precursor to such slave narratives as that of Frederick Douglass, Equiano's degraded youth and respected later life in England is told with verve and sophistication in this spirited quest for fulfillment.
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