All That She Carried : The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake-9781800818217

All That She Carried : The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake

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Author: Miles, Tiya

South Carolina

Published on 1 February 2024 by Profile Books Ltd in the United Kingdom.

Paperback | 416 pages, b/w integrated; 8pp plate section with colour photos
197 x 130 x 27 | 340g

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR NON-FICTIONLONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTIONNATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNERNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE'An astonishing account of love, resilience and survival' Sunday Times'A remarkable book' New York Times'An extraordinary tale through the generations' GuardianIn 1850s South Carolina, Rose, an enslaved woman, faced a crisis: the imminent sale of her daughter Ashley. Thinking quickly, she packed a cotton bag with a few items. Soon after, the nine-year-old girl was separated from her mother and sold. Decades later, Ashley's granddaughter Ruth embroidered this family history on the sack in spare, haunting language.

That, in itself, is a story. But it's not the whole story. How does one uncover the lives of people who, in their day, were considered property? Harvard historian Tiya Miles carefully traces these women's faint presence in archival records, and, where archives fall short, she turns to objects, art, and the environment to write a singular history of the experience of slavery, and the uncertain freedom afterward. All That She Carried gives us history as it was lived, a poignant story of resilience and love passed down against steep odds.