Perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history. It recounts how Solomon Northup, born a free man in New York, was lured to Washington, D.C., in 1841 with the promise of fast money, then drugged and beaten and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity on a Louisiana cotton plantation.
An absolute must-read. It's as beautiful, heart wrenching and hard to read as it is to watch. Solomon Northrup is a gifted writer and his transparent honesty and command of human emotion is great cause for reflection, respect and praise. Read it, read it.