Short stories

Universal Storytelling in Zadie Smith’s Two Men Arrive in a Village

In her interview with the New Yorker right after publishing the short story ‘Two Men Arrive in A Village,’ Zadie Smith discussed, among other things, the inspiration for this story. She mentioned the idea of eliminating specifics in storytelling, in a way that allows a story to implicate everybody. In her words,

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Violence During Slavery: Twelves Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup’s memoir ‘Twelves Years a Slave’ has received notable recognition in contemporary media. Among the many themes he explores, violence is central, narrating accounts of his and other slaves’ experiences in the hands of white slave owners. While it is apparent that violence was part of slavery in America, most slaveholders tried to deny this, masking it with such explanations as the slave tried to escape with every chance they got. Violence was a common aspect of slavery, used to achieve capture, punishment, silence, and submission in Northup’s narrative.

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