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William L. Andrews

Author of Slave Narratives

32+ Works 1,526 Members 7 Reviews

About the Author

William L. Andrews was born in 1946. He earned his B.A. from Davidson College in 1968. He received his M.A. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1973, respectively, from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he is currently the E. Maynard Adams Professor of English. His first book, The Literary show more Career of Charles W. Chesnutt, published in 1980, deals with a seminal figure in the development of African American and Southern American prose fiction. While researching To Tell a Free Story, a history of African American autobiography up to 1865, Andrews became greatly interested in autobiography studies. Since 1988 he has been the general editor of a book series, titled Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography, which is published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Since the mid-1980's he has done a considerable amount of editing of African American and southern literature and criticism. The fruition of this work has been The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, published in 1997, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, also published in 1997, and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, three big collaborative projects that Andrews has co-edited. He went on to be the series editor of North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920, a complete digitized library of autobiographies and biographies of North American slaves and ex-slaves, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ameritech, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by William L. Andrews

Slave Narratives (2000) — Editor — 322 copies
The Oxford Companion to African American Literature (1997) — Editor — 138 copies
Six Women's Slave Narratives (1988) — Introduction — 97 copies
Classic American Autobiographies (1992) — Editor — 91 copies
Three Classic African-American Novels (1990) — Editor; Introduction — 86 copies
Classic Fiction of the Harlem Renaissance (1994) — Editor — 40 copies
The Oxford Frederick Douglass Reader (1996) — Editor — 38 copies
Toni Morrison's Beloved : A Casebook (1999) — Editor — 36 copies

Associated Works

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845) — Editor, some editions — 9,248 copies
Behind the Scenes: or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868) — Introduction, some editions — 567 copies
Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857) — Introduction, some editions — 316 copies
Conjure Tales and Stories of the Color Line (Penguin Classics) (2000) — Editor, some editions — 114 copies
The Conjure Stories [Norton Critical Edition] (2011) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy (2018) — Contributor — 4 copies


Common Knowledge



I've already read three of the ten slave narratives from this volume. Harriet Jacobs's story stands out: to escape from the advances of her slave master, who wanted to have a sexual relationship with her, she went into hiding in the space between her grandmother's roof and ceiling, the highest part of which is only three feet. She ends up hiding there for over seven years. An awesome first-hand account. I want to read Nat Turner's and Sojourner Truth's narratives next.
frebau | 1 other review | Dec 2, 2019 |
A difficult and harrowing but important sample of American literature, not only in terms of its significance to our nation's history, but also in inspiring compassion and humanity as this very long, shameful chapter in our nation's past continues to have reverberations today. When compared with the political climate over 150 years later, one can't help but note that the hypocrisy of professing piety and being a "good Christian," while simultaneously ignoring -- and worse, contributing to -- the suffering of fellow humans is apparently eternal. This sentence, when Mary Prince is first introduced to Christianity, broke my heart: "When I found out that I was a great sinner, I was very sorely grieved, and very much frightened." Any number of these narratives would make a riveting feature film or documentary. I was especially awed by Harriet Jacobs' incredible story.… (more)
ryner | May 10, 2018 |
Ten separate narratives spanning 1770-1860 in which the enslaved argue for their humanity to an eventually sympathetic nation. Wm and Ellen Craft's 'Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom' with them disguised as a sickly master (Ellen) and his slave across steam boats and trains from Georgia to Philadelphia stands out. Harriet Jacob's 'Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl' is remarkably well written. The set ends with Jacob Green telling his disturbing story, letting us know these were complicated humans making the best of their situations as they could.… (more)
kcshankd | 1 other review | Dec 31, 2017 |
One's first reaction is how could someone brought up under slave conditions have grown up to be one of the most eloquent speakers and influential political leaders in American history. The more one looks into his background the more one is aware of the "opportunities" Douglass had that helped him grow out of his initial disadvantages, e.g. help learning how to read. But perhaps the most compelling factor is simply that he was an extremely talented individual. While the Narrative is the highlight, the secondary pieces including Douglass's other writings, reviews and analyses, and modern literary criticism also provide important insights, making the Norton edition an important addition to the library.… (more)
drsabs | Dec 21, 2017 |



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Associated Authors

Trudier Harris Editor, Contributor
Frederick Douglass Contributor
Harriet Ann Jacobs Contributor
William Craft Contributor
L. Maria Child Contributor
Olaudah Equiano Contributor
Henry Bibb Contributor
Nat Turner Contributor
Sojourner Truth Contributor
Jacob D. Green Contributor
Ellen Craft Contributor
Gustavus Vassa Contributor
Zora Neale Hurston Contributor
Jean Toomer Contributor
Richard Wright Contributor, Subject
William Faulkner Contributor
Ebenezer Cook Contributor
Elizabeth Cotton Contributor
Samuel Clemens Contributor
George W. Cable Contributor
Evelyn Scott Contributor
Henry Dumas Contributor
Sterling A. Brown Contributor
John Joines Contributor
Robert Johnson Contributor
Julia Fields Contributor
Dave McCarn Contributor
Moms Mabley Contributor
Aunt Molly Jackson Contributor
Benjamin Banneker Contributor
William Byrd II Contributor
Bukka White Contributor
Anne Spencer Contributor
Ma Rainey Contributor
C L Franklin Contributor
Henry Timrod Contributor
Brenda Marie Osbey Contributor
John Crowe Ransom Contributor
Ted Shine Contributor
John P. Kennedy Contributor
R. T. Smith Contributor
Caroline Gordon Contributor
Eudora Welty Contributor
Wendell Berry Contributor
Fred Chappell Contributor
Yusef Komunyakaa Contributor
Dorothy Allison Contributor
A. R. Ammons Contributor
Peter Taylor Contributor
William Styron Contributor
Robert Penn Warren Contributor
H. L. Mencken Contributor
Randall Jarrell Contributor
Nikki Giovanni Contributor
Lillian Hellman Contributor
James Dickey Contributor
Thomas Wolfe Contributor
Bobbie Ann Mason Contributor
Alex Haley Contributor
Reynolds Price Contributor
Thomas Jefferson Contributor
James Agee Contributor
Ernest J. Gaines Contributor
Walker Percy Contributor
Doris Betts Contributor
Randall Kenan Contributor
Carson McCullers Contributor
Sidney Lanier Contributor
Thomas Nelson Page Contributor
Lillian Smith Contributor
Allen Tate Contributor
Edgar Allan Poe Contributor
Ellen Bryant Voigt Contributor
Alice Walker Contributor
Albert Murray Contributor
John Smith Contributor
Maya Angelou Contributor
Flannery O'Connor Contributor
Andrew Hudgins Contributor
Tennessee Williams Contributor
W. J. Cash Contributor
Kate Chopin Contributor
Ellen Glasgow Contributor
Margaret Walker Contributor
Dave Smith Contributor
Elizabeth Spencer Contributor
Ralph Ellison Contributor
Sonia Sanchez Contributor
Lee Smith Contributor
Benjamin Franklin Contributor
Gertrude Bonnin Contributor
Mary Rowlandson Contributor
Mark Twain Contributor
Harriet E. Wilson Contributor
Nella Larsen Contributor
Wallace Thurman Contributor
Rudolph Fisher Contributor
Claude McKay Contributor
Langston Hughes Contributor
Barbara Christian Contributor
Mae G. Henderson Contributor
Deborah Mcdowell Contributor
Lori Askeland Contributor
Samuel J. May Contributor
Linda Krumholz Contributor
Paul John Eakin Afterword


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