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Douglass' Women: A Novel by [Jewell Parker Rhodes]
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Douglass' Women: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 95 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


The Washington Post [A] courageous and beautiful book.

Charles Johnson [A] passionate, moving novel that explores the place where American history intersects with the human heart.

Whoopi Goldberg Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes takes us someplace we never knew existed. With insight and depth we get into the lives of these three historical people, Douglass, Douglass, and Assing, only to realize that they are as contemporary as we are. Well done!

Diana Gabaldon author of The Fiery Cross A remarkable act of fictional biography!

From Publishers Weekly

Frederick Douglass's love life was nearly as tumultuous as his political career or so Rhodes (Voodoo Dreams; Magic City) posits in this vividly imagined recreation of the romantic triangle formed by the great abolitionist, his black wife and his white mistress. Anna Murray is Douglass's first love, a free Maryland woman of color who falls in love with the young slave and helps him escape the South. Douglass follows through by marrying Murray and moving her to New Bedford, Conn. Marital life begins blissfully enough, but soon Anna finds herself alone raising Douglass's children while he travels to promote the abolitionist cause. Douglass, meanwhile, meets his intellectual match in German beauty Ottilie Assing, and their relationship turns physical when they journey together to England. Anna learns of the affair shortly after their return, but once her temper cools she tolerates Assing's presence, even allowing Douglass to include her in the living arrangements when the family moves to Rochester. The narrative clips along as Rhodes introduces the various romantic angles, but as a character study the book has some noticeable flaws. The uneducated but feisty Anna emerges as a well-drawn, multifaceted character, and Assing is effectively portrayed as she tries to balance her love for Douglass with her desire to be known as something more than the obscure mistress of a powerful, charismatic figure. Douglass, however, remains a shadow figure, mostly because Rhodes never gets beneath the surface of his romantic personality and leaves out elements of his controversial political contributions that would have fleshed out the narrative. This is a solid, well-conceived novel, but by isolating Douglass's passion from his politics, Rhodes creates a book that is as incomplete in its own way as the historical treatments that ignore the personal life of the great orator. 6-city author tour.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003QP4NNQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atria Books; Reprint edition (June 10, 2010)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 10, 2010
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 756 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 388 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95 ratings

About the author

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Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author and educator for both youth and adults. She is the author of seven books for children including the New York Times bestsellers Ghost Boys and Black Brother, Black Brother, both named Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of the Year. Her other books include Paradise on Fire, Towers Falling, and the Louisiana Girls Trilogy: Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic.

Jewell is the author of six adult novels: Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass’ Women, Season, Moon, and Hurricane, as well as the memoir Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness, and two writing guides, Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction.

Jewell has won the American Book Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, and the Jane Addams Peace Association Book Award.

Jewell regularly visits schools, a speaker at colleges and conferences. The driving force behind all of her work is to inspire social justice, equity, and environmental stewardship.

Jewell is the Founding Artistic Director and Piper Endowed Chair at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carnegie-Mellon University. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Seattle.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
95 global ratings

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