Slaves, Masters, and Traders, by H. Ann Ackroyd, told through multiple persons of voice and from three different locations, is a historical fiction that explores the subject of slavery. It is set in the backdrop of 1800 AD and through the power of words the author presents us the experiences, culture and life of Africans prior to enslavement in their homeland West Africa and in Louisiana after enslavement.
The narrative is moving and pivotal. The author not only has thoroughly researched on the topic but also has immense knowledge and understanding of it which reflects in her writing. 1800 AD is the darkest era of history but we still fail to gauge the extent of the harsh conditions Africans had to go through. And this is where Slaves, Masters, and Traders sets itself apart. It provides an accurate representation and builds a story around it. It does not tamper with the representation to fit a narrative.
The story is told through slaves, masters and slave traders and that made my journey as a reader more enriching and raw. The characters are crafted in a detailed manner and the descriptions of the setting are vivid. The author has a very lucid style of writing which makes it an easy read.
With the issue of racism brought to the forefront in the current times, I’ll recommend everyone to give it a read. This book completely consumed me emotionally and is an experience in itself. It is going to stay with me forever…
– reviewed by Abby through The Moving Words free book program
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Colonial Adventure and Other Stories is another book from the same author.
This is a compelling collection of novella and short stories. Written in rhythmic free form prose this book explores the British colonial history of Africa, specifically Zimbabwe (the then, Rhodesia). As the author draws from the experiences of herself and her family in Africa, it is very hard to match her narrative. Her understanding of the events and issues reflects themselves on each page. Like H. Ann Ackroyd’s other works this too through its intricate narration puts forward a vivid picture of the culture, lifestyle and history. It is every bit moving and pivotal.
The illustrations are simple yet communicate the essence of the pieces appropriately and in an engaging manner. Each piece strikes a chord with the readers. Especially me coming from a colonized ethnicity myself connected with the feelings of them immensely, even though the experiences differed.
The stories are short and crisp. They are meant to be savored slowly but I devoured it in 2 sittings. This is a very significant and enriching read. I’ll recommend it to everyone who likes a good piece of literature.
– The Moving Words Review
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H. Ann Ackroyd was born and raised in southern Africa. She is of British and Austrian parentage and has family in Britain, Europe and Africa with whom she keeps in touch and on whose experiences she draws, along with her own, in Colonial Adventures and Other Stories and Across the Rift. She was trained at the University of Vienna, Austria, as a translator: main languages English and German, also Spanish and Portuguese. She has lived in Africa, Europe, Brazil and now lives in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. https://slavesmasterstraders.com/