We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself | [Harriet Ann Jacobs]

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself

One of the first personal narratives written by an ex-slave, this is also one of the few written by a woman. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) was enslaved, along with her family, in North Carolina under a ruthless master who sexually harassed her. After several failed escape attempts, and several years of hiding, she finally made her way North to freedom, where she was eventually reunited with her children. The book was published in 1861.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Literate Harriet Jacobs escaped from slavery after many tries, finally freeing herself of a cruel, sexually abusive master. Jacobs survived to write and expose the horrors of life in slavery. Her autobiography substantiates the abuse endured by female slaves. Jacobs writes about her past with an almost academic detachment. Having survived she evolves into a historian, bent on accurately recording the damning truth for the purpose of social indictment. Narrator Jean Barrett’s calm conversational tone matches Jacobs’ understated language. Just like Jacobs, Barrett sounds educated and self-possessed. There is subdued passion in her voice, but no hysteria. Barrett’s precise speech and ironically polite oration underscores the miserable details of what Jacobs endured and triumphed over.

Publisher's Summary

One of the first personal narratives written by an ex-slave, this is also one of the few written by a woman. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) was enslaved, along with her family, in North Carolina under a ruthless master who sexually harassed her. After several failed escape attempts, and several years of hiding, she finally made her way North to freedom, where she was eventually reunited with her children. The book was published in 1861.

Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"One of the major autobiographies of the African American tradition." (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)

"Harriet Jacobs in her narrative reveals how she refused to be victimized within her own mind, but rather chose to act instead from a steadfast conviction of her own worth.... Hers is an example worth emulating even in these modern times." (Louise Meriwether)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (27 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.0 (25 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.1 (25 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Beverly E. Van Citters Glendale, CA USA 03-05-14
    Beverly E. Van Citters Glendale, CA USA 03-05-14 Member Since 2014

    due2much

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible Journey"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this book in audio format. No matter where I am, my place in the book is always kept for me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved Harriet and her voice. She says the words that she was thinking. Her pain is evidenced when she faces challenges thrust upon her family by the evil doctor.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The part where she hid under the stairs or crawlspace knowing she cold not let her family know where she was---for that action would place them in danger.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me somber in reflecting the true journey of American slaves.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was especially wonderful to read in February, Black History Month. Now I will read another true story called "12 Years a Slave". A real appreciation for the history of African American brothers and sisters whose stories were silenced but now are loud and proud. A story that needs to be told and lessons to be learned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexis DALLAS, TX, United States 12-11-13
    Alexis DALLAS, TX, United States 12-11-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A precious perspective"
    What made the experience of listening to Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself the most enjoyable?

    This first-person perspective had me using the dictionary feature on the Kindle several times. Very eloquent and honest. I'm glad this story was recorded so we can all enjoy it for decades to come.


    What about Jean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Barrett's narration brings the story to life in a way that makes you want to give Harriet Jacobs a hug afterward!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I couldn't pull myself away. I normally don't listen to Audible during the weekend, but this story didn't let me go!


    Any additional comments?

    Add this story to your list. Jacobs attitude isn't about racism, it's about how we can fight to make this world a better place for our children. She speaks of how different the people around her would be without "the demon of Slavery" rather than judge others. What an example.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Macomb, United States Minor Outlying Islands 04-11-12
    Michelle Macomb, United States Minor Outlying Islands 04-11-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but did enjoy the audio, it made it more real.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it gave a true picture of the best and the worst of slavery, if there was a best.


    What does Jean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The vernacular of the slave.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I am not sure there is enough information for a movie.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 10-26-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 10-26-13 Member Since 2011

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    366
    214
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A tale of survival against all odds"

    The utter despair of not having control of ones life or this of ones loved ones and the struggle to live a life with dignity as others see you as subhuman comes through loud and clear in this work. It is also a testament of what a person can endure when the stakes are high enough. The peculiar institution that the slavery apologists tried to paint a rosy color on by saying the slaves were happy to be controlled and taken care of his dismantled as the feeble stack of cards it is.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison KENNER, LA, United States 12-03-13
    Allison KENNER, LA, United States 12-03-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Very Believable"
    What disappointed you about Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself?

    The story seemed very unreal and the dialect and writing totally not plausible.


    What could Harriet Ann Jacobs have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    This book did not appear to be written in the era that it claims.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narration was very poor; it seemed as if she was reading a grocery list. No feeling or emotion based on the subject matter.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Expected more.


    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.