Equiano, the African

Biography of a Self-Made Man

Title Details

Pages: 464

Illustrations: 21 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 09/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6298-4

List Price: $19.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Steve Wrigley

Equiano, the African

Biography of a Self-Made Man

A rich and engrossing portrait of an exceptional man and the cause he championed

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  • Description
  • Awards
This definitive biography tells the story of the former slave Olaudah Equiano (1745?–1797), who in his day was the English-speaking world’s most renowned person of African descent. Equiano’s greatest legacy is his classic 1789 autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself. A key document of the early movement to ban the slave trade, as well as the fundamental text in the genre of the African American slave narrative, it includes the earliest known purported firsthand description by an enslaved victim of the horrific Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. Equiano, the African is filled with fresh revelations about this many-sided figure.


Kirwan Faculty Research and Scholarship Prize, University of Maryland


Ten Exceptional Books from University Presses, Foreword magazine


Top Ten African American Books, Booklist magazine


Annibel Jenkins Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies


Ten Best Biographies, Amazon.com

About the Author/Editor

VINCENT CARRETTA is professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of more than ten books, including scholarly editions of the writings of Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley Peters, Ignatius Sancho, and Ottobah Cugoano. His books include Phillis Wheatley Peters: Biography of a Genius in Bondage; Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man; and The Life and Letters of Philip Quaque, the First African Anglican Missionary, coedited with Ty M. Reese (all Georgia). He lives in Springfield, Virginia.