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Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route Paperback – January 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374531153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374531157
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this rousing narrative, Berkeley professor Hartman traces first-hand the progress of her ancestors-forced migrants from the Gold Coast-in order to illuminate the history of the Atlantic slave trade. Chronicling her time in Ghana following the overland slave route from the hinterland to the Atlantic, Hartman admits early on to a naïve search for her identity: "Secretly I wanted to belong somewhere or, at least, I wanted a convenient explanation of why I felt like a stranger." Fortunately, Hartman eschews the simplification of such a quest, finding that Africa's American expatriates often find themselves more lost than when they started. Instead, Hartman channels her longing into facing tough questions, nagging self-doubt and the horrors of the Middle Passage in a fascinating, beautifully told history of those millions whose own histories were revoked in "the process by which lives were destroyed and slaves born." Shifting between past and present, Hartman also considers the "afterlife of slavery," revealing Africa-and, through her transitive experience, America-as yet unhealed by de-colonization and abolition, but showing signs of hope. Hartman's mix of history and memoir has the feel of a good novel, told with charm and passion, and should reach out to anyone contemplating the meaning of identity, belonging and homeland.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Hartman journeys along the route taken by captured slaves from the interior of what is now Ghana to the Atlantic coast. With no specific trail to follow from her own lineage, Hartman views her search as a coming to terms with her status as stranger and wanderer in the African diaspora. She meets African American expatriates who have been living in Ghana for 20 years, not fully integrated in Africa but alienated from America. She also meets Ghanians who deride or exploit the desperate longing they see in the throngs of black Americans who visit the slave castles each year. She explores the perspective on slaves and slavery held by Africans versus the African American view and how those perspectives affect diasporan efforts to reconnect and to reckon with history. Reflecting on the complex history of slavery, Hartman integrates memories of her own family's journey to become African Americans from the Middle Passage through the Caribbean to the U.S. An eloquent and thoughtful look at the Atlantic slave trade and its resounding impact on the African American psyche. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Read it it's about the slave trade.
Matthew Smanski
Her writing is honest and straightforward. i feel like she wrote this book for me that's how deeply I connected with it.
kb
Hartman's book can and should make a renewed contribution to the healing of past hurts which still linger deep.
Robert W. Kellemen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What "Roots" was to the Boomer Generation, "Lose Your Mother" could and should be to the Generation Next. Saidiay Hartman's writing styles fits perfectly for a generation that longs for and loves narrative, story, and first-hand journal accounts.

However, no one should thus assume that Hartman's writing lacks research credibility for she brilliantly weaves both rousing narrative and copious research to portray a powerful picture of one of history's ugliest stories: Middle Passage. She provides a fresh account of ancient wounds.

Hartman's book can and should make a renewed contribution to the healing of past hurts which still linger deep. Her passionate style and scholarly depth can help a nation move beyond suffering to healing hope.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Soul Physicians, and Spiritual Friends.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John E. Pepper on July 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A deeply moving combination of history, personal memoir and deep reflection,particularly on the heroic and aspirational legacy of slavery as seen by this wonderful writer.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Murray S on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Saidiya Hartman takes us on a journey that is intense, tough and thoroughly rewarding. Impressively, she learned as much about herself as she did about the past she sought, even more.

The beauty of going with her on this journey is that the reader has the same magnificent opportunity, hypnotically led by the author, to ponder and to gain personal insight perhaps too long submerged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kb on June 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is something about the way she writes that just has a way of piercing your heart at its core. Her writing is honest and straightforward. i feel like she wrote this book for me that's how deeply I connected with it. As a daughter of the diaspora, a daughter of the enslaved, i appreciate this book so much. No, my wounds aren't healed but I feel like I can move on to healing and take the next generation on to healing and moving forward with the knowledge that I have gained from this book. The ancestors would be proud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Smanski on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a book I needed for school, but honestly it was great, I still have it because of how good it was! Read it it's about the slave trade.
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By Ross Cockfield on June 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saidiya weaves a compelling story of the search for one's identity while trying to make sense of the horrors of the slave trade. Her vivid descriptions of the infamous slave castles, combined with a uncanny ability to put you in chains with the slaves waiting for the slavers, create vivid mental images that simultaneously make you want to put the book down and keep reading. Her material is well researched and moves you back and forth from the present to the past to the present, all within the context of a search we all need to take.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you take the time to read this book you will learn more about the story of the Afrikan than anything MLK or any civil rights figure has ever told or pretended to know..This is the real story and unfortunately it did not begin in Ghana, which is why we as Afrikan desc must teach our children the other story as well The one about Abrahams roots and the history of Arabs enslavement of his bredren have fun!
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