The Bukowski Agency - The Hanging of Angélique

Read an excerpt
See also www.afuacooper.com

80,000 words hardcover
Finished books available

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US: University of Georgia Press, Apr 2007
Canada: HarperCollins, Feb 2006
France: Editions de l'Homme, Spring 2007
Documentary: Eventide Media
Film: Halifax Film Company

Also available
The Young Phillis Wheatley
The Young Henry Bibb
The Young Mary Prince
RIGHTS SOLD
World: Kids Can Press

ABOUT AFUA COOPER

Afua Cooper (Photo: Ian Gibbons)
(Photo: Ian Gibbons)

Afua Cooper is an established writer of non-fiction, history, and poetry. She holds a Ph.D. in African-Canadian history with specialties in slavery and abolition, and has expertise in women's history and New France studies. A contributor to several publications on the history of the African diaspora in Canada and the Caribbean, Cooper is co-author of We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African-Canadian Women's History, which won the Joseph Brant Award for History. For fifteen years Cooper has been researching the intriguing history of Marie-Joseph Angélique. One of Canada's most vesatile poets, Afua Cooper has published five volumes of poetry, including Memories Have Tongues (SisterVision Press, 1992) a Casa de las Americas finalist, and most recently Copper Woman: And Other Poems (Natural Heritage Books, 2006).

The Hanging of Angélique
The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal

by Afua Cooper

THE HANGING OF ANGÉLIQUE CHRONICLES THE GRIPPING STORY OF MARIE-JOSEPH ANGÉLIQUE, A SLAVE WOMAN WHO WAS HANGED FOR ALLEGEDLY BURNING DOWN A PORTION OF THE TOWN OF MONTRÉAL

The Hanging of Angélique coverOn April 10, 1734, a fire ripped through Montréal, destroying forty-six buildings, including the famed hospital/convent L'Hôtel Dieu. Marie-Joseph Angélique, the slave woman accused of starting the fire, was tried in court and condemned to death. Only under the pressure of la question extraordinaire-a hideous torture that shattered the bones in her legs-did she confess to arson. Executed by hanging, Angélique entered Canada's history books as a criminal, but her trial offered the unique chance to tell her life story-one that would otherwise have gone unrecorded and unheard.

Afua Cooper—writer, historian, and poet—brings to life a little-known chapter in Canadian history brilliantly to life with this narrative of a rebellious Portuguese-born Black woman who refused to accept her bondage. In a dramatic retelling of Angélique’s story, Cooper sheds new light on what might have compelled a young woman to commit such a crime. At the same time, she demolishes the myth of Canada as a haven at the end of the Underground Railroad, revealing a damning centuries-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.

Pre-dating any other first-person account of slavery by more than forty years, Angélique’s story is, by all measures, the oldest slave narrative in the New World. In The Hanging of Angélique, Afua Cooper has delivered an important contribution to Canadian history and an essential perspective on slavery.

PRAISE FOR THE HANGING OF ANGÉLIQUE

“Through Afua Cooper’s deft recreation, Marie-Joseph Angélique speaks to us in a voice that cannot be ignored or suppressed any longer—that of the resistance to slavery. Angélique is a rebel, a woman who must die and who speaks truth to power.”  — GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD JURY CITATION

“...the most powerful and memorable book I have read in this past year.”  — LITERARY REVIEW OF CANADA

“This isn't the Canadian history most of us learned in school ... Afua Cooper aims to shatter that silence.”  — BRIAN BETHUNE, MACLEAN'S MAGAZINE

“An enthralling and important tale.”  — NATALIE ZEMON DAVIS, author of The Return of Martin Guerre and Slaves on Screen

“Thorough, original, and masterful, this book is a stunning reclamation of one woman's life, but it is also a reclamation of Africans in early North American history. Trenchant and engagingly written, this book is brilliant.”  — DIONNE BRAND, award-winning poet and novelist

“One of the most significant books on Canadian history this year.... Passionate, engaging writing.”  — TORONTO STAR

“[Cooper] convincingly demonstrated that one woman's story can represent larger global forces. The account of Angélique's trial is an important source for Canadian history and the history of the African diaspora.”  — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“Cooper's passionate style reflects her commitment to shake Canadians from their complacency about the past.”  — WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“Exceptional work.... An extensive, relevatory narrative that illuminates the life of Marie-Joseph Angélique.”  — EDMONTON JOURNAL

“An evocative, thought-provoking and profoundly accessible work.”  — CALGARY HERALD

“Cooper's vivid portrait describes a woman who wasn't easily tamed. Cooper uncovers little-known, counterintuitive historical facts.”  — NOW MAGAZINE

The Hanging of Angélique is a good kick in the butt—a painful reminder that a slave society did exist for several hundred years in Canada.”  — THE SUN TIMES, OWEN SOUND

“Books like [Cooper's]—that wake us up to the stunning fact that the celebrated Underground Railway...also took slaves out of Canada into northern American states where slavery had been outlawed—may help us right that wrong.”  — THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

 

 

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