The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

by Olaudah Equiano


The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African, first published in 1789 in London, is the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. The narrative is argued to represent a variety of styles, such as a slavery narrative, travel narrative, and spiritual narrative. The book describes Equiano's time spent in enslavement, and documents his attempts at becoming an independent man through his study of the Bible, and his eventual success in gaining his own freedom and in business thereafter. 
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was one of the first widely-read slave narratives. Eight editions were printed during the author's lifetime, and it was translated into Dutch and German. The structure and rhetorical strategies of the book were influential and created a model for subsequent slave narratives. The different kinds of aspects and ideas in his narrative, such as travel, religion, and slavery, cause some readers to debate what kind of narrative his writing is: a slavery narrative, a spiritual narrative, or a travel narrative. The work has proven so influential in the study of African and African-American literature that it is frequently taught in both English literature and History classrooms in universities. The work has also been republished in the influential Heinemann African Writers Series.

person AuthorOlaudah Equiano
language CountryGreat Britain
api GenreAutobiographyslave narrative
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book cover-
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansUniversity of Michigan
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
Reader: Collaborative
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auto_stories Read onlineThe Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano