Driven Toward Madness

Driven Toward Madness

The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio

Paperback - 2016
Rate this:
"Taylor crafts a book that should be read by all who have an interest in understanding the roots of slavery and oppression of women during the pre-Civil War era." -- Library Journal (starred review)

The story of Margaret Garner--the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery--has inspired Toni Morrison's Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Garner's story has defied solid historical treatment and Nikki M. Taylor's fierce, poetic history of Garner brilliantly captures her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy, resistance, and motherhood.
As an enslaved woman, Garner left only faint traditional historical footprints: she could not read or write, and left no diary, letters, or personal papers, obliterating the opportunity to know with certainty what she thought or believed. Although she is one of the few runaway slaves ever to testify at her own hearing, there are no extant official transcripts. Local papers covered it, but summarized her testimony. In the wake of the killing, various factions appropriated her as differing symbols, each with its own audience and purpose (from hero of slave resistance to black bogeyman).

A black feminist interpretation of Garner's life--as an enslaved woman, wife, and mother--offers a more holistic picture of who she truly was and what drove her to kill. Taylor--the first African American woman to write a history of Garner--grounds her work in this interpretation and also melds trauma studies and literary criticism with history to account for shortcomings in the written record. In so doing, she rejects distortions and fictionalized images; probes slavery's legacies of sexual and physical violence and psychic trauma in new ways; and finally fleshes out a figure who had been rendered an apparition.
Publisher: Athens : Ohio University Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9780821421604
9780821421598
9780821445860
Characteristics: xvi, 163 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top