560 Black slavery novel ‘Wench’ brings out anger, frustration in readers! PODCAST INTERVIEW

How many novels have you ever read that actually upset you? Moved you, frustrated you, left you unsure how you felt about the story itself?

That’s the way I felt reading Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s first novel, Wench.

I read a lot of books—it comes with the territory when they call you Mr. Media. But this novel left me aggravated. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing; not at all. There’s nothing wrong with a writer pulling a visceral reaction out of a reader.

The subject matter is what did it to me—Wench is the story of four black slave women living in the mid-1800s, suffering whippings, beatings, rapes, and the outright sale of their children borne of unions with white slave masters—pretty gruesome, hardcore content. It was not a pretty time, of course, and this is not a pretty book.

It should make for an interesting conversation with the author.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez WebsiteTwitterBlog

Hear it now!DOLEN PERKINS-VALDEZ podcast excerpt: “I did not want to romanticize the period. There is no way to write about slavery without writing about the difficulties slaves endured. At the same time, I didn’t want the book to be a catalog of atrocity.” 

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