Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black in a Two-Story White House

  • by Harriet Wilson
  • Narrated by Robin Miles
  • 2 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the autobiographical novel by Harriet Wilson, the first African-American to publish a novel in North America. Originally published in 1859, it was rediscovered in 1982.
The novel begins as Frado, a six-year-old mulatto, is abandoned by her white mother. While serving the Bellmont family as an indentured servant, she is treated cruelly. Frado earns her freedom at the age of 18 but has many difficulties earning a living on her own. She marries Tom, a fugitive slave and a lecturer for the Abolitionist Movement. Frado has a baby, but is again abandoned and must find a way to support herself. At the end of the novel, the author appeals in her own voice for sales of her book.


Audible Editor Reviews

As her multiple awards and nominations can attest, narrator Robin Miles is adept at creating an intimate connection with listeners. For Harriet Wilson's semi-autobiographical novel about precocious little girl Frando, who is given away to servitude at age six, Miles once more eases her way into listeners' hearts with her elegant and moving performance.
Frando inspires both sympathy and anger as she endures deprivation and isolation as an indentured servant in antebellum New Hampshire, revealing the pervasiveness of racism even in the supposedly free north. Miles gives Frando a determined, spirited voice and never slips into sentimentality or hyperbole, instead letting her quiet intensity command listeners' empathy and attention.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Finally a Truthful account of Northern Slavery

What did you love best about Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black in a Two-Story White House?

I loved the honest portrayal of the harsh and unkind treatment of the Blacks in the North before the Civil War.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could have listened to the entire book at one time but it deserves the full attention of the listener to do justice of the topic.

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- Carrie Choat

Not a great book but an important one

Would you try another book from Harriet Wilson and/or Robin Miles?

Harriet Wilson never wrote another book which is why this one is so important as a snap shot of slavery in the Northern states. As for Robin Miles, she did an admirable job narrating the material she had.

Has Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black in a Two-Story White House turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I want to read the slave narratives recorded in the 1930's as well as The Autobiography of Frederick Douglas and Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave.

Have you listened to any of Robin Miles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not heard any of Robin Mile's other performances.

Was Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black in a Two-Story White House worth the listening time?

Yes, but it was not a great read and neither was Wilson a great writer. Our Nig is more important from a historical point of view and not from an artistic point of view. I am unlikely to listen to it again, but I recommend it to people studying slave narratives.

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- Andre

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-30-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios