"Compelling. . . a shocking tale. . . a remarkable account. . . . McLaurin succeeds admirably in using Celia's story to raise larger issues about the meaning of American slavery for both blacks and whites, for both women and men." — New York Times Book Review
In 1850, fourteen-year-old Celia became the property of Robert Newsom, a prosperous and respected Missouri farmer. For the next five years, she was cruelly and repeatedly molested by her abusive master—and bore him two children in the process. But in 1855, driven to the limits of her endurance, Celia fought back. And at the tender age of eighteen, the desperate and frightened young black woman found herself on trial for Newsom's murder—the defendant in a landmark courtroom battle that threatened to undermine the very foundations of the South's most cherished institution.
Based on court records, correspondences and newspaper accounts past and present, Celia, A Slave is a powerful masterwork of passion and scholarship—a stunning literary achievement that brilliantly illuminates one of the most extraordinary events in the long, dark history of slavery in America.
"Compelling...a shocking tale...a remarkable account...McLaurin succeeds admirably in using Celia's story to raise larger issues about the meaning of American slavery for both blacks and whites, for both women and men." — New York Times Book Review
"Eloquent...Her story is enough to give you the sort of anger that never goes away." — Chicago Tribune
"Excellent...a remarkable story...McLaurin is both scrupulous and imaginative in his interpretation of the evidence, which sometimes presents glimpses of slavery that are almost never revealed in other accounts." — New York Review of Books
"Powerful...beautifully written...an invaluable contribution to Southern history, women's history and the history of slavery." — Dallas Morning News
"Vivid...moving and masterfully told...McLaurin's rich narrative reads like a fine novel; his scholarship makes a vitally important contribution to understanding this chapter in American history." — Publishers Weekly