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Publisher's Summary

Abducted from Africa, sold in America.

The compelling true story of one of the last survivors of the Atlantic Slave Trade, Barracoon recounts one man’s fight for freedom. After being illegally smuggled as 'Black Cargo' 50 years after the abolition of slavery, Cudjo Lewis spent nearly six years in captivity before being finally emancipated.

Cudjo casts light on the circumstances of his capture and his detention in a barracoon before embarking on his journey through the Middle Passage, to his arrival in the Unites States on the Alabama River.

This never-before-published work, from the best-selling American author of Their Eyes Are Watching God, brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it.

©2018 Zora Neale Hurston (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"That Zora Neale Hurston should find and befriend Cudjo Lewis, the last living man with firsthand memory of capture in Africa and captivity in Alabama, is nothing shy of a miracle. Barracoon is a testament to the enormous losses millions of men, women and children endured in both slavery and freedom - a story of urgent relevance to every American, everywhere." (Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Life on Mars and Wade in the Water)

"Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece." (Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple)

"Barracoon is a powerful, breathtakingly beautiful, and at times, heart wrenching, account of one man’s story, eloquently told in his own language. Zora Neale Hurston gives Kossola control of his narrative- a gift of freedom and humanity. It completely reinforces for me the fact that Zora Neale Hurston was both a cultural anthropologist and a truly gifted, and compassionate storyteller, who sat in the sometimes painful silence with Kossola and the depth and breadth of memory as a slave. Such is a narrative filled with emotions and histories bursting at the intricately woven seams." (Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun)

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-18-18

Important work by Hurston, read powerfully!

This was a highly anticipated read for me this year but thought I'd try the audible version while waiting to get the book. I've been a fan of Hurston for years and the reading of this work does justice to the research, care and dedication of and by Zora Neale Hurston. It was read so convincingly that there were moments I felt weepful and my heart broke. Not an easy story to listen to but one of great great importance. So grateful for Zora Neale Hurston's tenacity and the legacy she left behind - though celebrated posthumously.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-09-18

A tiny gem

One of my favourite audiobooks ever. The reading by Deborah Plant is a joy. I can’t comment on how authentic her reading of Cudjo’s speaking style is. But it works. A good example of a book which deserves to be listened to rather than read because of the oral storytelling tradition that informs it. Although very short it includes a very interesting analysis of the genesis and authenticity of the book, then Cudjo’s story (some of this is heartbreakingly sad), then some folk tales from Africa that he related to Hurston.