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3.00011358783842 out of 53.00011358783842 out of 53.00011358783842 out of 53.00011358783842 out of 53.00011358783842 out of 5 3.00 (11,709 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harriet Jacobs Narrator: Lisa Reneé Pitts Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781452672533
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Published in 1861, Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiographical account of the author’s experiences as a slave in nineteenth-century North Carolina, from her relatively happy childhood to the brutality she experienced as a teenager and young woman to her eventual escape to the North. One of the few slave narratives written by a woman, Jacobs’s work deals frankly with the horrors of slavery, shedding light on the abuses female slaves in particular often endured at the hands of their masters.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a gripping, unflinchingly honest account of slavery, one that stands as an important counterpoint to male slave narratives by such authors as Frederick Douglass.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 5 AJ | 6/21/2017

    " I have read this powerful account by Harriet Jacobs before, but I needed a QUICK refresher in order to do a paper for a summer class I am currently taking. This audiobook did just that. However, my only complaint is toward the reader, It was a little weird listening to her during some parts. But I shouldn't complain. I got what I needed and the paper is done! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joy | 2/20/2014

    " It had me viewing slavery in a whole different light. LOVED IT. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 2/13/2014

    " This book is one of those books you have to put on hold for a while..... You become really angry, as she's telling her story. And you cry a lot because you get lost in the character. I've been reading this for over a month now, I don't know if I can get to the end of it. The only way to be free back then was DEATH!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie | 2/13/2014

    " This woman was Superwoman and Wonderwoman all rolled up into one!! She over comes seemingly unsurmountable obstacles and shares her stories of living as a black female slave in colonial America. Alot of the incidents she described in the book are so obscene, so inhumane you almost cant believe it !! If you enjoy any of Frederick Douglas' work, you'd enjoy this read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Horn | 2/1/2014

    " Very insightful, very truthful. Its a good read, but tragic in parts. But it is to be expected. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amber Bird | 1/31/2014

    " I feel like kind of a bad person for only giving this two stars - I mean, books about slavery and the holocaust should automatically rate three or higher, right? But honestly "it was okay" - which is the definition of the two star rating - was pretty much exactly how I felt about this. Let me just get this out of the way - the description of her enslavement and the trials she faced are obviously heartbreaking and she deserves some serious credit for writing her story out like this in 1861; but it kind of reads like my great grandma's memoirs - rambling off topic at some points, too detailed and/or sentimental at other points ... anecdotes that were probably more personally important to the writer then generally applicable to her plight. I felt myself getting really annoyed with her story, and then feeling absurdly guilty about it and doubling up my efforts to give the story the respect that the topic deserves. Bottom line: it pretty much reinforced everything that I thought I knew about slavery (physical and emotional abuse/degradation of women/poor living conditions/general breaking of the human spirit), but I wouldn't recommend it to a friend. When it was over, I was dry-eyed, emotionally undisturbed, and slightly relieved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn Hailley | 1/27/2014

    " It is amazing that a woman who struggled through slavery and an almost 10 year escape which in itself was hell, could manage to write a book like this. It was great to read a first hand non-fictional account of the life of a woman in slavery and the desire and struggle to escape, and the challenges to her even in the north....I learned from this book more about the laws and conditions in the second half of the 19th century, and it added to my perspective of race relations in the present time. I cheered for this woman and all like her, and cursed the whites of the time...thanking God I am not American and having to live down this dirty legacy...but all nations have their own tragic and cruel past, and current problems with lack of empathy and understanding, giving a book like this all the more relevance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Demosthenes | 1/21/2014

    " I only had to read chapters 10 and 17-28. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 1/17/2014

    " Deeply moving. Shows the depravity of humanity from a very personal and well written view. No human should ever be treated like this lady. Her strength is amazing and is an inspiration to anyone who takes the time to read this book. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meleece | 1/17/2014

    " Reading this book made me grateful for my life and for my children. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merrylinn | 1/14/2014

    " While this book did not expose much that was new to me, I found the writing incredible. Harriet Ann Jacobs was taught to read and write by her mistress from ages 6-12. Her vocabulary is outstanding her tale horrifying. This is a woman that most may relate to as she made her choices based on the well-being of her children. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renie | 1/13/2014

    " This is a book that was published in 1861 by a former Harriet Jacobs, using the pen name "Linda Brent. It chronicles the experiences Of Harriet Jacobs as a slave and the humiliations she had to endure in that unhappy state, especially the abuse that a young woman must face while in slavery. It was most interesting but very disturbing as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Truth Thomas | 1/13/2014

    " A writer of great intelligence, and courage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail Zachariah | 1/12/2014

    " Another eye opening book discussion book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Wegner | 1/12/2014

    " I've read a lot about slavery, but this book got my heart the most. Reading a memoir of a mother who would do anything, literally anything to save the lives of her children, caused me to really think about slavery in a new light. Anyone who is a mother knows what lengths she would go to in order to spare the life of her child, but Harriet Jacobs not only wondered it, but lived it. Her life was permanently scarred because of the choices she made to save her small family. Her strength of spirit and will were inspiring, and I am truly grateful I stumbled across this very powerful story of a mother in a different time, place and circumstance than me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonniej | 1/7/2014

    " Great book; very interesting. Definitely not Gone With The Wind! This is told by a former slave of the South, and all the hardships she and her family endured. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emi | 1/4/2014

    " Emotional. Eye-opening...No matter how broken a person is, their worth never dimishes and they can rise again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eunice | 12/29/2013

    " Harriet wrote so clearly, honestly and well. She had an amazing spirit and sense of right and wrong that enable her to survive harrassment, abuse and living in hiding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 12/26/2013

    " There were parts of this book that were really interesting and parts that were slower which is why I rated this as 3 stars versus 4. But it was great insight into slavery, which I think is good for everyone to read. I learned so much! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deangela | 12/15/2013

    " This book, served as my introduction to slave narratives. I will never forget it eventhough I read it over 20 years ago. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 12/1/2013

    " This is so much like a book I just read where the master is after a young girl's virtue that I may have to wait a while before coming back to it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/19/2013

    " This book was an interesting read written by a slave. It wasn't THAT intriguing or inspiring. I wouldn't really recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenalyn C | 10/15/2013

    " My first eBook and it was great for traveling as we all thought it would be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 9/30/2013

    " The more sensitive the reader is to the human condition, the more difficult this purportedly true account of one young woman's experience may be to read. Difficult, yes, but necessary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 big hiker 2 | 9/18/2013

    " Read it as part of a college paper. Great true story of real courage among extreme adversities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maura | 9/9/2013

    " A very interested read on the older times "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Verhaeren | 8/18/2013

    " For all those women who had to read Frederick Douglas, this is the perfect companion (or replacement) book. A tale of sexual exploitation, resistance, motherhood, and escape. Should be taught in school alongside Douglas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aramie | 8/7/2013

    " I always enjoy lit. classes because you read so many wonderful books that you might otherwise never have been exposed to. This is a beautifully written slave narative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 7/2/2013

    " Whatever and however hands went into possibly shaping the writing of this book, it is an important piece of literature none the less - and so well-written. A painful, but necessary read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 6/25/2013

    " This is a painful, but necessary read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney | 6/23/2013

    " I thought this was a real eye-opener back in college. I enjoyed the discussion that began because of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reba | 5/15/2013

    " Well, all I can say is wow to this one. A must read. I haven't read it since the early 90s, but I have read it at least twice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany Elgan | 4/23/2013

    " Pretty intriguing book. Reminded me a bit of Uncle Tom's cabin. It's really sad all that slaves went through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 1/31/2013

    " I loved this book it was compassionate and very easy to read. The agony that female slaves endured was heart wrenching, children being extracted from their mothers,the sexual abuse and the feeling of being powerless to do anything to change your plight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janelle | 12/19/2012

    " Incredible story. I nearly read it from beginning to end in at once. I just had to see this woman through her journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliet | 12/3/2012

    " This is a first-hand account from a woman born into slavery in the mid-1800's. Very good book!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Anderson | 11/24/2012

    " Still chills me to think of the book. A heroic journey though one slave's life "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirei | 11/15/2012

    " This is the best account of slavery in America that I have read so far. The writing is a little old-fashioned, but not as old-fashioned as I expected it would be. It makes me want to read Frederick Douglass's book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 10/22/2012

    " Deeply moving. Shows the depravity of humanity from a very personal and well written view. No human should ever be treated like this lady. Her strength is amazing and is an inspiration to anyone who takes the time to read this book. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelley | 8/31/2012

    " SUCH a good book. It describes the horrific lives slaves were forced to lead, without being too descriptive of the horrors themselves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheri | 7/7/2012

    " A great story. Very emotionally driven, all the way to the end. Thumbs up!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasha | 2/3/2012

    " A beautiful and tragic rendering of a slave and the hardships she had to face. A great eye opener for anyone who is unfamiliar with the topic of slavery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russ Walicki | 9/4/2011

    " Great look at the evils of slavery through a first hand experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliet | 9/1/2011

    " This is a first-hand account from a woman born into slavery in the mid-1800's. Very good book!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenalyn C | 7/18/2011

    " My first eBook and it was great for traveling as we all thought it would be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 6/25/2011

    " Enjoyed this book. A look at one woman's life growing up and living in the confines of slavery. This book takes place shortly before slavery is abolished. Some slaves are free others are not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 6/23/2011

    " I can't imagine a life like hers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrienne | 6/20/2011

    " A must read for anyone interested in early American history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 6/19/2011

    " I read this book some time back. It left such an impression on me that I never forgot it. This is why I rated it 5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah Victoria Katherine | 6/9/2011

    " I read this for a class and I really enjoyed it. I of course grew up hearing about the civil war and slavery but this book made it real to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 6/7/2011

    " Harriet Jacobs added a new dimension to my knowledge of the life of a slave in the pre civil war era. She was a courageous woman in her determination and endurance in her battle to be free. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 5/31/2011

    " Disgusting and sad, but highly important. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heidi | 5/30/2011

    " An intriguing account of the life of harriet jacobs (a mixed race house slave) in her fight against the system during slavery in the south (usa). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 5/27/2011

    " If you are interested in slave fiction, don't read this. It is not fiction though it is told in a compelling and gripping manner. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shona | 5/20/2011

    " An amazing story of the will to survive and be close to one's children no matter what it takes. This story is deeply tragic but is also triumphant and inspiring. It should be regarded as an important part of the history of the United States and a testament to how far we have come as a society. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 5/9/2011

    " On the edge of my seat- this memoir is written so well, I can fully imagine myself in her shoes. It is like a friend speaking her story to me, explaining the horrors of being a slave.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 5/6/2011

    " What a great book!! This was written by a slave girl right before the civil war. The northerners wanted her to tell her story to garner sympathy for the cause to abolish slavery. Her life was very interesting and difficult. Highly recommend! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 4/27/2011

    " One of the very few slave narratives written by a woman - Jacobs' story is almost unbelievable, including hiding in an attic for years to escape her master. The writing is fantastic and provides a glimpse into the antebellum USA in a way not many works can. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 4/26/2011

    " Should be required reading for every American. "

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About the Author
Author Harriet Jacobs

Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897) was born a slave in North Carolina and escaped to the North in 1842. Her autobiographical account of her experiences, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, was the first slave narrative written by a women. During the Civil War, she participated in relief efforts around Washington, DC, founding a school for freed slaves. After the war she remained an active advocate for equal rights for African Americans and an outspoken critic of racial violence.

About the Narrator

Lisa Reneé Pitts is an accomplished actress in theater, film, and television, appearing in The Practice, The Shield, and Law & Order. A native New Yorker, she holds a BFA in theater arts from Rutgers University and resides in Burbank, California.