Random House Acquires 1800s Prison Memoir

tags: slavery, books, publishing




The recently discovered manuscript believed to be the first prison memoir by an African-American was swiftly acquired by Random House, the publisher said on Sunday. The 304-page manuscript, by Austin Reed, was recently authenticated by scholars at Yale University.

Titled “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison”, it traces Reed’s story of imprisonment and harsh punishment while he was at a state prison in upstate New York from the 1830s to the 1850s. After details of the manuscript were disclosed last week, Random House snapped up the rights to publish it, offering a mid-six-figure sum, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly. (A spokeswoman for Random House declined to comment on the advance.)...



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