N.H. to Honor First African-American Novelist

Reading from 'Our Nig'

14-year-old Mercy Bell (also the model for the Wilson statue) reads from the pioneering novel:

Cover for the Penguin USA version of 'Our Nig'

hide captionCover for the Penguin USA version of Our Nig

New Hampshire indentured servant-turned-novelist Harriet Wilson wrote Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black more than a century ago.

The work is the first known publication by an African American. Wilson will become the first person of color in New Hampshire history to have a monument in her likeness.

The book was first published in 1859 and was re-discovered and published again in the 1980s. Wilson is now considered the mother of the African-American novelist tradition.

Books Featured In This Story

Our Nig
Our Nig

Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black

by Harriet E. Wilson, P. Gabrielle Foreman and Reginald H. Pitts

Paperback, 103 pages | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • Our Nig
  • Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black
  • Harriet E. Wilson, P. Gabrielle Foreman, et al

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