After listening to an interview with the author on NPR, I picked up a copy of Rebecca Hall's Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts.
This is a very unusual book.
First of all, it is unusual because it is a graphic novel. I don't generally read many graphic novels, and it's been a while since I read one.
It's also unusual because it is, or tries to be, non-fiction. I guess the best way to describe it is as historical fiction. Hall, who is an academic historian and professor, wrote Wake as sort of a memoir of her work in trying to learn about the role that women played in slave revolts more than 300 years ago. The non-fiction aspect of Wake concerns Hall's efforts to uncover the truth about what happened during these incidents; the historical fiction aspect of Wake takes over when Hall, having reached the limit of what can be learned from the historical record, decides that, as she puts it:
It is time for a measured use of historical imagination in order to reconstruct a story.
Wake is simply remarkable, words fail me (which is why, I suppose, the graphical novel approach works so well). I found that I had to read through the book quite slowly, taking my time with the drawings, understanding the various perspectives that Hall was bringing.
Wake is not an easy read.
But I hope it finds an enormous audience, for surely it should.