Midtown Scholar

New York Times Bestselling Author Ilyon Woo to Discuss “Master Slave Husband Wife” at Midtown Scholar

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Midtown Scholar Bookstore and WITF welcome New York Times bestselling author Ilyon Woo to the bookstore on Feb. 15 for a conversation and signing on her new astonishing book of history, Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom.

Woo will be in conversation with WITF’s Aniya Faulcon starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Audience Q&A and a book signing will follow the discussion.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book

Winner of the prestigious Work in Progress Whiting Award, this is the remarkable story of William and Ellen Craft, an enslaved husband and wife, who successfully escaped slavery in Georgia by passing as a sickly white man (Ellen) and “his” slave (William,) traveling openly by rail and steamship until they reached the North–a story unparalleled in the history of American slavery.

Along the way, they dodged slave traders, military officers, and even friends of their enslavers, who might have revealed their true identities. The tale of their adventure soon made them celebrities, and generated headlines around the country. Americans could not get enough of this charismatic young couple, who traveled another 1,000 miles criss-crossing New England, drawing thunderous applause as they spoke alongside some of the greatest abolitionist luminaries of the day—among them Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown.

Told for the first time, this is one of the most astonishing stories in American History, and exactly the sort of history that Black History month was intended to commemorate. Like Twelve Years a Slave or the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass, Master Slave Husband Wife is destined to be a new classic narrative of the slavery era.

About the Author

Ilyon Woo is the author of The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother’s Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times and the recipient of a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Writing Grant. Her articles have appeared in venues such as The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal, and she has received support for her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other organizations. She holds a BA in the Humanities from Yale College and a PhD in English from Columbia University.

About the Moderator

Aniya Faulcon is The Spark Host/Producer for WITF. She has a passion for shining a light on unique people, experiences, and perspectives within the community. Previously she worked as the People and Social Trends Reporter/Video Anchor for LancasterOnline | LNPNews. During her time there, she created video packages, provided Facebook Live coverage at community events, and wrote data-driven stories with census data and feature stories on local leaders, non profit organizations, events, and people with unique talents and experiences within Lancaster County.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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