Truevine by Beth Macy, Paperback, 9781447278092 | Buy online at The Nile
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Truevine

An Extraordinary True Story of Two Brothers and a Mother's Love

Author: Beth Macy  

An extraordinary and moving story of two brothers from the American South who were stolen away to become circus freaks.

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PRODUCT INFORMATION

Summary

An extraordinary and moving story of two brothers from the American South who were stolen away to become circus freaks.

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Description

In Truevine, Virginia, in 1899 everyone the Muse brothers knew was either a former slave, or a child or grandchild of slaves.George and Willie Muse were just six and nine years old, but they worked the fields from dawn to dark. Until a white man offered them candy and stole them away to become circus freaks. For the next twenty-eight years, their distraught mother struggled to get them back. But were they really kidnapped? And how did their mother, a barely literate black woman in the segregated South, manage to bring them home? And why, after coming home, would they want to go back to the circus?In Truevine, bestselling author Beth Macy reveals for the first time what really happened to the Muse brothers. It is an unforgettable story of cruelty and exploitation, but also of loyalty, determination and love.

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Critic Reviews

“Compelling”

What makes her account , however, is the history it offers of the lives black people had to endure in the decades following slavery, a history that seems all the more poignant in the aftermath of last year’s Black Lives Matter debates … [An] extraordinary tale of courage and grace John Burnside, Spectator -- John Burnside Spectator
Jaw-dropping Glasgow Herald
Pitiless about life in the Jim Crow South where, even in the 1920s, thousands of black Americans, some for crimes as trivial as hopping a train, were sold into labour camps and sent down slave mines … It is quite some story, and Macy has told it skilfully, vividly, compassionately -- Sukhdev Sandhu Guardian
Observer
Macy is a gifted storyteller and a dogged researcher and readers will be riveted by Harriet Muse's struggle to find her sons. New York Times
A sturdy, passionate, and penetrating narrative. This first-rate journey into human trafficking, slavery, and familial bonding is an engrossing example of spirited, determined reportage Kirkus
"It's the best story in town," a colleague told Beth Macy decades ago, "but no one has been able to get it." She now has, with tenacity and sensitivity. She gives a singular sideshow its due, offering these "Ambassadors from Mars" a remarkable, deeply affecting afterlife. -- Stacy Schiff
As as Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks . . . both are absolutely stunning examples of narrative nonfiction at its best . . . Certain to be among the most memorable books of the year. -- Connie Fletcher Booklist

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About the Author

Beth Macy writes about outsiders and underdogs, and she is the author of the New York Times bestseller Factory Man. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers and The Roanoke Times, where her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard and the Lukas Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism.

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Back Cover

'[An] extraordinary tale of courage and grace' Spectator 1899, Truevine, Virginia. In the heart of the Jim Crow South, everyone that George and Willie Muse knew was either a former slave, or a child or grandchild of slaves. They were just six and nine years old, but the brothers worked the fields of a sweltering tobacco farm from dawn to dark. Until a white man offered them candy, and stole them away to the circus. There they were forced to enact outrageous caricatures: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even 'Ambassadors from Mars'. For the next twenty-eight years, their distraught mother struggled to get them back. But were they really kidnapped? And how did their mother, a barely literate black woman in the segregated South, manage to bring them home? And why, after coming home, did they want to go back to the circus? Truevine is an unforgettable tale of cruelty and exploitation, but also of loyalty, determination and love. 'Quite some story, and Macy has told it skilfully, vividly, compassionately' Guardian 'Macy is a gifted storyteller and a dogged researcher and readers will be riveted by Harriet Muse's struggle to find her sons' New York Times

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Product Details

Publisher
Pan Macmillan | Pan Books
Published
22nd February 2018
Pages
432
ISBN
9781447278092

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