The Interesting Narrative by Qlaudah Equiano (Short Review)

A classic in the field, “The Interesting Narrative” tells the story of a slave who bought his own freedom and made a life for himself as a seamen. Beginning in Africa, the author recounts his native life but quickly escalates as he is kidnaped, during childhood, by slavers. He winds up on a ship bound for England by where he is able, through both intellect and skill, able to court favor with his masters; this enables him to survive on a basis far above that of the typical slave eventually leading to his freedom and self-employment as a captain. Written as an autobiography, Equiano’s prose is concise but elegant. His narrative is immensely engaging (for an autobiographical tale) and certainly more adventurous than many of ours! So, though the modern debate rages whether or not Equiano, as a person, actually existed (or whether he was just a figment created by Abolitionist propaganda), still rages, anyone with a interest in the self-made man narrative involving colonial-era subjects, should give this short read the light of day. You will probably like it.


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