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Olaudah Equiano: A Bibliography

Over the past two centuries, and in particular in the last few decades, Olaudah Equiano has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. This bibliography reflects that scholarship and provides details of a wide range of texts which discuss Equiano, his life, and his writing. It is not possible to include everything ever written about Equiano, although I am aiming to include as much as possible. Please contact me if you notice any omissions, or would like to suggest a title. I have organised the information under the following headings. Scroll down the page, or click on the link to jump to the category you are interested in.

These may appear to be somewhat arbitrary divisions, and indeed they are, but I hope they are sufficiently inclusive to help you find your way around. Within these headings works are in alphabetical order of author, except for the editions which are listed chronologically.

In some cases I have added a few words of comment to the entries. Where there is no comment it means either that I have not yet examined the title or that I did not have a copy or notes to hand when I created this page. I hope to rectify this in the near future. In the case of newer books I will also add a link to the publisher if they have a page which specifically showcases the title listed. Otherwise, I shall leave publishers unlinked. Likewise, I shall only link to an author's website if there is something about Equiano to be seen there.

Many of the books mentioned in this bibligraphy are listed in The Bookshop: a page on this website with details on how to buy books on Equiano and related topics.

* This bibliography was last updated on 8 November 2016 *


Editions of The Interesting Narrative

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself, 2 vols (London: printed and sold for the author, 1789). The first edition.

  • 2nd edition, 2 vols, (London: printed and sold for the author, 1789).

  • 3rd edition (London: printed and sold for the author, 1790).

  • 4th edition (Dublin: printed and sold for the author, 1791).

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself, 2 vols (New York: W. Durell, 1791). The first (unauthorised) American edition.

  • 5th edition (Edinburgh: printed and sold for the author, 1792).

  • 6th edition (London: printed and sold for the author, 1793).

  • 7th edition (London: printed and sold for the author, 1793).

  • 8th edition (Norwich: printed and sold for the author, 1794).

  • 9th edition (London: printed and sold for the author, 1794). The last edition produced during Equiano's lifetime.

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself (Belper: S. Mason, 1809).

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself. To which are added, poems on various subjects, by Phillis Wheatly (Halifax: J. Nicholson & Co, 1814).

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself. A new edition, corrected (Leeds: James Nichols, 1814). The 'corrections' substantially alter Equiano's text.

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself (Penryn: W. Cock, 1816).

  • The Life of Olaudah Equiano (Boston: I. Knapp, 1837).

  • Equiano's Travels. His Autobiography. The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African. Abridged and Edited by Paul Edwards, African Writers Series 10 (London and Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books, 1967) and (New York: Praeger, 1967).

  • The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa the African reprinted with a new introduction by Paul Edwards, Colonial History Series (London: Dawson, 1969). A facsimile of the 1789 1st edition.

  • The Life of Olaudah equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969). A reprint of the 1837 Boston edition.

  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano in The Classic Slave Narratives edited with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr (New York: Mentor, 1987). This reprints the altered 1814 text.

  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself, edited with an introduction by Wilfred D. Samuels (Miami, FL: Mnemosyne Pub Co, 1988).

  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself, edited with an introduction by Paul Edwards (Harlow and White Plains, NY: Longman, 1989).

  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself, edited with an introduction by Robert J. Allison (Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1995). Reprints the 1791 New York edition.

  • The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings, edited with an introduction and notes by Vincent Carretta (London and New York: Penguin, 1995).

  • Equiano's Travels. His Autobiography. The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African. Abridged and Edited by Paul Edwards, new edition (Oxford: Heinemann, 1996).

  • The African: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (London: Black Classics, 1998).

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, written by himself, in Pioneers of the Black Atlantic: Five Slave Narratives from the Enlightenment, 1772-1815 edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and William L. Andrews (Washington DC: Civitas, 1998), pp. 182-365. Reprints the eighth edition (Norwich, 1794).

  • The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999). Reprints the problematic 1814 edition. Not recommended.

  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, written by himself, edited by Werner Sollors (New York: Norton Critical Editions, 2001). Reprints the 1st edition and contains a very large number of contextual documents.
    More Information from Norton

  • Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, ed. Angelo Costanzo (New York: Broadview Literary Texts, 2001). Reprints the 1st edition and many contextual documents.
    More Information from Broadview

  • The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings, edited with an introduction and notes by Vincent Carretta (London and New York: Penguin, 2003). Reprints the 9th edition (London: 1794) along with a number of Equiano's letters and newspaper articles. Scholarly, with a wealth of detailed notes, this is the standard academic edition.
    More information from Penguin Classics.

  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, edited by Shelly Eversley with an introduction by Robert Reid-Pharr (New York: Random House Modern Library, 2004). Reprints the 1794 9th edition.
    More Information from Random House

  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (Radford, VA: Wilder Publications, 2012)

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Selections

Selections from The Interesting Narrative can be found in the following collections:

  • Abrams, M.H, et al, The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th edn (London and New York: W.W. Norton, 2000), vol. 1, pp. 2812-2821. Short selections from The Interesting Narrative.
    More information from Norton

  • Adams, Francis D. and Sanders, Barry, eds.,Three Black Writers in Eighteenth-Century England (Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing, 1971).

  • Blackman, Malorie, ed.,Unheard Voices: A collection of stories and pomes to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (London: Corgi Books, 2007), pp. 134-42. This collection is aimed at younger readers.

  • Bown, Lalage, Two Centuries of African English: A Survey and Anthology of Non-Fictional English Prose by African Writers Since 1769 (London: Heinemann, 1973).

  • Caretta, Vincent, ed., Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-Speaking World of the Eighteenth Century (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996). An extremely useful introduction to the subject. There is a generous selection from The Interesting Narrative at pp. 185-218, with useful footnotes.

  • Edwards, Paul and Dabydeen, David, eds., Black Writers in Britain 1760-1890 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991). Extracts from The Interesting Narrative and two letters are reproduced, with notes, on pages 54-82.

  • Edwards, Paul, and James Walvin, Black Personalities in the Era of the Slave Trade (London: Macmillan, 1983).

  • Jones, G.I., 'Olaudah Equiano of the Niger Ibo', in Philip D. Curtin, ed., Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade (Madison and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967), pp. 60-98. An historical introduction followed by a generous helping from The Interesting Narrative, focusing on Equiano's descriptions of Africa and the middle passage. This was an important text in Equiano studies, now largely superceded.

  • Kitson, Peter, et al, eds, Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation: Writings in the British Romantic Period (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1999), 8 vols. Facsimiles of Equiano's Interesting Narrative and hundreds of other slavery-related texts.
    More information from Pickering and Chatto

  • Potkay, Adam and Sandra Burr, Black Atlantic Writers of the Eighteenth Century: Living the New Exodus in England and the Americas (London: Palgrave, 1995).

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Contemporary Reviews and Accounts of Equiano

  • The Analytical Review (May 1789). A mixed review of The Interesting Narrative by Mary Wollstonecraft.

  • The General Magazine and Impartial Review (July 1789). A largely sympathetic review of The Interesting Narrative.

  • The Gentleman's Magazine, 59 (June 1789), p. 539. The reviewer, probably the conservative Richard Gough, dismisses The Interesting Narrative as 'uninteresting'.

  • The Gentleman's Magazine, 67 (April 1797), p. 356. A short obituary of Equiano.

  • The Monthly Review (June 1789). A mixed review of The Interesting Narrative.

  • The Oracle, 25 April 1792. The newspaper alleges that Equiano 'who has publicaly asserted that he was kidnapped in Africa, never was upon that Continent, but was born and bred up in the Danish Island of Santa Cruz in the West Indies'.

  • The Star, 27 April 1792. The newspaper repeats the allegations made in The Oracle two days previously.

  • Wesley, John, Letters of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., 8 vols, ed John Telford (London: The Epworth Press, 1931), VIII, pp. 264-265. Wesley's last letter, dated 24 February 1791, is to William Wilberforce. In it Wesley discusses The Interesting Narrative.

  • Wesley, John, Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Bicentenary Issue, 8 vols, ed Nehemiah Curnock (London: The Epworth Press, 1938), VIII, pp. 127-128. Wesley's final two entries (22-23 February 1791) reveal that he was reading The Interesting Narrative on his deathbed.

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Nineteenth-Century Commentary

  • Grégoire, Henri Babtiste (Abbé Grégoire), De La Littérature Des Nègres, ou, Recherces sur leur facultés intellectuelles, leur qualitiés Morales et leur littérature; Suivies de Notices sur la vie et les ouvrages des Nègres qui se sont distingués dans les Sciences, les Lettres et les Arts, (Paris: Maradan, 1808).

  • Grégoire, Henri Babtiste (Abbé Grégoire), An Enquiry concerning the intellectual and moral faculties, and literature of Negroes; followed with an account of the life and works of fifteen Negroes and Mulattoes distinguished in Science, Literature and the Arts. (Brooklyn: Thomas Kirk, 1810). A translation of the above.

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Twentieth-Century Commentary

  • Acholonu, Catherine, 'The Home of Olaudah Equiano - A Linguistic and Anthropological Survey', The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 22 (1987). Not very reliable speculation about Equiano's origins.

  • Acholonu, Catherine, The Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano (Afa Publications, Owerri, 1989)

  • Andrews, William, To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography (Bloomington: University of Illinois Press, 1986).

  • Cameron, Ann, The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano (New York: Random House, 2000). A retelling of Equiano's story for children.

  • Carretta, Vincent, 'Three West Indian Writers of the 1780s Revisited and Revised', Research in African Literature, 29, 4 (Winter 1998): 73-86. Useful round-up of recent scholarship.

  • Carretta, Vincent, 'Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa? New Light on an Eighteenth-century Question of Identity', Slavery and Abolition, 20, 3 (December 1999), 96-105. Important new evidence about Equiano's identity and early life history. Carretta argues that the identity 'Olaudah Equiano' was specially invented for the The Interesting Narrative, and that Gustavus Vassa's (as he was usually known) 'account of Africa may have been based on oral history and reading, rather than on personal experience'.

  • Costanzo, Angelo, Surprizing Narrative: Olaudah Equiano and the Beginnings of Black Autobiography (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987). An influential look at Equiano's role in the development of early black autobiography.

  • Dabydeen, David, and Nana Wilson-Tagoe, A Reader's Guide to Westindian and Black British Literature, 2nd edn, revised (London: Hansib Publications, 1997).

  • Dathorne, O.R., 'African Writers of the Eighteenth Century', The London Magazine, 5 (September 1965): 51-58.

  • Davis, Charles T., and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Slave's Narrative (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985)

  • Edwards, Paul, 'A Descriptive List of Manuscripts in the Cambridgeshire Record Office Relating to the Will of Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano)', Research in African Literature, 20 (1989)

  • Edwards, Paul, 'Equiano's Lost Family: "Master" and "Father" in "The Interesting Narrative"', Slavery and Abolition, 11 (1990)

  • Edwards, Paul, Unreconciled Strivings and Ironic Strategies: Three Afro-British Authors of the Georgian Era: Ignatius Sancho, Olaudah Equiano, Robert Wedderburn (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992). A short pamphlet taking issue with Keith Sandiford and others. Difficult to find it is nonetheless important for being an historicist counterblast to literary approaches to Equiano.

  • Fichtelberg, Joseph, 'Word Between Worlds: The Economy of Equiano's Narrative', American Literary History, 5, 3 (Fall 1999): 459-80

  • Fryer, Peter, Staying Power; the History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto Press, 1984). The best general history of the British black presence to date, though sometimes too uncritical of the historical and literary sources. Equiano is discussed at pp. 102-112, and in passing throughout much of the book.

  • Jones, G.I., 'Olaudah Equiano of the Niger Ibo', in Philip D. Curtin, ed., Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade (Madison and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967), pp. 60-98. An historical introduction followed by a generous helping from The Interesting Narrative, focusing on Equiano's descriptions of Africa and the middle passage. This was an important text in Equiano studies, now largely superceded.

  • King, Reyahn, 'Ignatius Sancho and Portraits of the Black Elite' in ed. Reyahn King, Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1997), pp. 15-43. King discusses the Equiano portraits at pp. 35-6.

  • Little, Kenneth, Negroes in Britain: A Study of Racial Relations in English Society (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1947). Dated now, the author expresses his anger at the 'colour bar'. This is a scholarly anti-racist text written at a time when few people admitted that there was racism in British society.

  • Marren, Susan, 'Between Slavery and Freedom: The Transgressive Self in Olaudah Equiano's Autobiography', Publications of the Modern Language Association, 108 (1993)

  • Murphy, Geraldine, 'Olaudah Equiano: Accidental Tourist', Eighteenth-Century Studies, 27, 4 (Summer 1994): 551-68

  • Ogude, S.E., 'Facts into Fiction: Equiano's Narrative Reconsidered', Research in African Literatures, 13 (Spring 1982), 31-43. Ogude argues that 'Equiano's narrative is to a large extent fictional'. While it is an important Black text, it is nevertheless 'an imaginative reorganization of a wide variety of tales about Africa from an equally wide range of sources.

  • Ogude, S.E., Genius in Bondage: A Study of the Origins of African Literature in English (Ile-Ife, Nigeria: University of Ife Press, 1983).

  • Ogude, S.E., No Roots Here: on the Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano (Bookman Educational and Communications Services, 1989).

  • Potkay, Adam, 'Olaudah Equiano and the Art of Spiritual Autobiography', Eighteenth-Century Studies, 27 (1994), 677-92.

  • Ramdin, Ron, The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain (Aldershot: Gower, 1987).

  • Rodgers, Nini, Equiano and Anti-slavery in Eighteenth-century Belfast (Belfast: Belfast Society in association with the Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000).

  • Rust, Marion. ‘The Subaltern as Imperialist: Speaking of Olaudah Equiano’, Passing and the Fictions of Identity. Ed. Elaine K. Ginsberg (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), pp. 21-36.

  • Sabino, Robin and Jennifer Hall, 'The Path Not Taken: Cultural Identity in the Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano', Melus, 24:1 (2000): 5-19.

  • Samuels, Wilfred, 'The Disguised Voice in "The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano", Black American Literature Forum, 19 (1985): 64-69.

  • Sandiford, Keith, Measuring the Moment: Strategies of Protest in Eighteenth-century Afro-English Writing (London: Associated University Presses, 1988). Introduces the notion of the 'ironic strategy' by which Afro-British writers registered their protest against slavery while ostensibly remaining within a mainstream discourse. A very influential work.

  • Shyllon, F.O., Black People in Britain 1555-1833 (London: OUP, 1977).

  • Shyllon, F.O., Black Slaves in Britain (London: OUP, 1974)

  • Shyllon, F.O., 'Olaudah Equiano: Nigerian Abolitionist and First National Leader of Africans in Britain', Journal of African Studies, 4 (1977)

  • Sussman, Charlotte, Consuming Anxieties: Consumer Protest, Gender and British Slavery, 1713-1833 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000). Sussman discusses Equiano in various places in her discussion of the eighteenth-century consumer boycotts of slave-produced goods.

  • Sypher, Wylie, Guinea's Captive Kings: British Anti-slavery Literature of the XVIIIth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1942). An oddity of a book, this comprehensive account of the literature is still highly useful as a bibliographical tool, but is uncomfortably critical of anti-slavery. Equiano is briefly discussed at p. 4 and p. 149.

  • Thomas, Helen, Romanticism and Slave Narratives: Transatlantic Testimonies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). The chapter 'Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative' is at pp. 226-254. There is a rewarding discussion of Equiano's use and subsequent abandonment of the conversion narrative form in favour of a 'political activism strategically founded upon the principles of religious dissent'.
    More information from Cambridge University Press

  • Walvin, James, 'In Black and White: Recent Publications on British Black Writings', Slavery And Abolition, 16 (1995): 376-382. A useful round-up of recent literature.

  • Walvin, James, Black and White: the Negro and English Society, 1555-1945. (London: Allen Lane the Penguin Press, 1973). Walvin's early work is of limited interest now.

  • Walvin, James, England, Slaves and Freedom, 1776-1838 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1986).

  • Walvin, James, The Black Presence: A Documentary History of the Negro in England, 1555-1860 (London: Orbach and Chambers, 1971). Documents of the early black British presence, now mostly more easily available elsewhere.

  • Walvin, James, An African's life : the life and times of Olaudah Equiano, 1745-1797 (Washington: Cassell, 1998). This biography retells Equiano's story. In large part it is a paraphrase of The Interesting Narrative with some additional material. Engagingly written, but no substitute for a scholarly edition of The Narrative itself.

  • Warren, Susan, 'Between Slavery and Freedom: The Transgressive Self in Olaudah Equiano's Autobiography', PMLA, 108, 1 (January 1993): 94-105

  • Woodard, Helena, African British Writings in the Eighteenth Century: the Politics of Race and Reason (Westport, Ct: Greenwood Press, 1999). Contains a chapter; 'Dampier's Hottentots, Swift's Yahoos, and Equiano's Ibos: Imaging Blackness in a Colonialist Discourse.'
    More information from Greenwood Press

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Twenty-first-Century Commentary

  • Agard, John, Equiano's Epigrams: The Interesting Narrative in Poetry (London: Crosspath in Association with the Equiano Society, 2009). A short collection of poetry based on Equiano's writing.

  • Aravamudan, Srinivas, 'Equiano Lite', Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34, 4 (Summer 2001): 615-619

  • Brophy, Sarah, 'Olaudah Equiano, Autobiography, and Ideas of Culture', part of the 'Special Feature: Olaudah Equiano: African or American?', in 1650-1850: Ideas, Æsthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol 17 (2010): 249-70. [More Information]

  • Bugg, John, 'The Other Interesting Narrative: Olaudah Equiano's Public Book Tour', PMLA, 121, 5 (2006): 1424-42.

  • Carey, Brycchan, British Abolitionism and the Rhetoric of Sensibility: Writing, Sentiment, and Slavery, 1760-1807 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Discusses Equiano's sentimantal rhetoric at pages 139-42. [More Information]

  • Carey, Brycchan, 'Introduction', part of the 'Special Feature: Olaudah Equiano: African or American?', in 1650-1850: Ideas, Æsthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol 17 (2010): 229-48. [Read this article]

  • Carey, Brycchan, 'Olaudah Equiano: an African Slave in Guernsey', The Review of the Guernsey Society, 59, 2 (Summer 2003): 47-50. Short article about Equiano's time in Guernsey.

  • Carey, Brycchan, ‘From Guinea to Guernsey and Cornwall to the Caribbean: Remembering Slavery in the Western English Channel’, in Britain’s Memory of Slavery: Local Nuances of a ‘National Sin’, ed Katie Donnington, Ryan Hanley, and Jessica Moody (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 30 September 2016), pp. 21–38. Discusses Equiano's visits to Cornwall and Guernsey.

  • Carretta, Vincent, Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self Made Man (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2005). The definitive biography of Equiano. [More Information]

  • Chiles, Katy L., Transformable Race: Surprising Metamorphoses in the Literature of Early America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), Chapter 4 contains an extended discussion of Equiano's views on race. [More Information]

  • Costanzo, Angelo, '"Neither a Saint, a Hero, nor a Tyrant"', part of the 'Special Feature: Olaudah Equiano: African or American?', in 1650-1850: Ideas, Æsthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol 17 (2010): 271-90. [More Information]

  • Czechowski, Tara, '"Sickness among the Slaves": Undermining Pathologies of the African in Olaudah Equiano's "The Interesting Narrative"', part of the 'Special Feature: Olaudah Equiano: African or American?', in 1650-1850: Ideas, Æsthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol 17 (2010): 291-311. [More Information]

  • Finseth, Ian, 'In Essaka Once: Time and History in Olaudah Equiano's Autobiography', Arizona Quarterly, 58, 1 (Spring 2002): 1-35

  • Huisman, Marijke, 'Beyond the Subject: Anglo-American Slave Narratives in the Netherlands, 1789-2013', European Journal of Life Writing, 4 (2015). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.4.153. Online at http://ejlw.eu/article/view/153. Looks at the reception of Equiano and others in the Netherlands. [Read Article Online]

  • Hochschild, Adam, Bury the Chains The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery (London: Macmillan, 2005). Equiano is a central figure in this very readable popular history of the British antislavery movement.

  • Lamore, Eric, Teaching Olaudah Equiano's Narrative: Pedagogical Strategies and New Perspectives, edied by Eric D. Lamore with a foreword by Vincent Carretta (Knoxville, The University of Tennessee Press, 2012). Includes articles by Eric D. Lamore, Adam Potkay, Srinivas Aravamudan, Roxann Wheeler, Sarah Brophy, Jessica L. Hollis, Tess Chakkalakal, Emily M. N. Kugler, Angelo Costanzo, John Saillant, Phillip M. Richards, Cedrick May, Keri Holt, Michael Pringle, Lisa M. Logan, and Abby Chandler.

  • Lovejoy, Paul E., 'Autobiography and Memory: Gustavus Vassa, alias Olaudah Equiano, the African', Slavery and Abolition, 27, 3 (December 2006: 317-47. The most fluent objection to the Carolina nativity thesis yet to have appeared. Carretta replied to it, and Lovejoy responded to Carretta's reply. See:
    • Carretta, Vincent, 'Response to Paul Lovejoy's "Autobiography and Memory: Gustavus Vassa, alias Olaudah Equiano, the African"', Slavery and Abolition, 28, 1 (April 2007), 115-9.
    • Lovejoy, Paul. E., 'Issues of Motivation - Vassa/Equiano and Carretta's Critique of the Evidence', Slavery and Abolition, 28, 1 (April 2007), 121-5.

  • Madin, John, 'The Lost African: Slavery and Portraiture in the Age of Enlightenment', Apollo: the International Magazine of Art and Antiques (August 2006), 34-9. Madin argues that the colour portrait often thought to be of Equiano is actually of Ignatius Sancho. [Read Article Online]

  • Ould-Okojie, Jackie, Olaudah Equiano: Son of Africa (Manchester: Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, 2006). A retelling of Equiano's story for children, with illustrations by schoolchildren from Manchester.

  • Potkay, Adam, 'History, Oratory, and God in Equiano's Interesting Narrative', Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34, 4 (Summer 2001), 601-614.

  • Regan, Shaun, 'Adorning the Plainness of Truth: Equiano and the Art of Narrative', part of the 'Special Feature: Olaudah Equiano: African or American?', in 1650-1850: Ideas, Æsthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol 17 (2010): 313-36. [More Information]

  • Sapoznik, Karlee Anne, ed, The Letters and Other Writings of Gustavus Vassa, Alias Olaudah Equiano, the African: Documenting Slavery and Abolition (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishing, 2013). An important collection of Equiano's letters and other writings.

  • Shlensky, Lincoln, '"To Rivet and Record": Conversion and Collective Memory in Equiano's Interesting Narrative', Slavery and the Cultures of Abolition: Essays Marking the Bicentennial of the British Abolition Act of 1807 eds. Brycchan Carey and Peter Kitson (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2007), pp. 110-129. [More Information]

  • Stein, Mark,'Who’s Afraid of Cannibals: Some Uses of the Cannibalism Trope in Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative', Discourses of Slavery and Abolition: Britain and its Colonies, 1760-1838, eds. Brycchan Carey, Markman Ellis, and Sara Salih (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 96-107. [More Information]

  • Wheeler, Roxann, 'Domesticating Equiano's Interesting Narrative', Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34, 4 (Summer 2001), 620-24.

  • Wimbush, Vincent L., White Men's Magic: Scripturalization as Slavery (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). A scriptural reading of Equiano's Narrative.

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Modern and Eighteenth-Century Translations into Other Languages

  • Dutch:

    • Merkwaardige levensgevallen van Olaudah Equiano of Gustavus Vassa, den Afrikaan, door hem zelven beschreeven (Rotterdam: Bij Pieter Holsteyn, 1790)

  • French:

    • Olaudah Equiano ou Gustavus Vassa l'Africain: le passionnant récit de ma vie, Mfoumou-Arthur, Régine, éd, (Paris: L' Harmattan, 2002)

  • German:

    • Olaudah Equiano's oder Gustav Wasa's, des Afrikaners merkwürdige Lebensgeschichte, trans. George Friedrich Benecke (Göttingen: Bey Johann Christian Dieterich, 1792)

    • Merkwürdige Lebensgeschichte des Sklaven Olaudah Equiano, von ihm selbst veröffentlicht im Jahre 1789 (Frankfurt: Insel, 2002)

  • Russian:

    • Жизнь Олаудаха Эйано или Густава Вазы Африканскаго родившагося въ 1745 году, имъ самимъ писанная. Съ присовокупленгемъ гравированнаго его портрета. Перевелъ съ нймецкаго А. Т. Москва, Въ Тип. Селивановскаго, 1794. Title partially transliterated as Zhizn´ Olaudakha Ek¯iano (Moscow, 1794).

  • Spanish

    • Narración de la vida de Olaudah Equiano, el africano, escrita por él mismo: autobiografía de un esclavo liberto del S. XVIII, edición de Celia Montolío, (Madrid: Miraguano Ediciones, 1999)

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Film and Video

  • A Son of Africa: The Slave Narrative of Olaudah Equiano (1995) Aimimage Productions for BBC Education, 28 mins.
    Executive Producer, Chris Lent; Producer, Hugh Williams; Director, Alrick Riley; Writer, Danny Padmore. Stars Hakeen Kae-Kazim as Equiano. This documentary is now a bit dated in some points of scholarship, but remains a good introduction for schools and colleges. Aimimage are at http://www.aimimage.com. There is a fuller description and purchase details at: http://www.newsreel.org/films/sonofafr.htm

  • Amazing Grace dir. Michael Apted (US: 2006) This Hollywood film contains at least one serious historical error in every scene. It features a cameo appearance from Youssou N'Dour as Equiano.


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