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Illustrated Version Of '12 Years A Slave' Issued To Honor 160th Anniversary Of Northup's Freedom

by Courtney
January 12, 2013 8:58 PM
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twelve years a slave

I'm sure everyone knows that the upcoming Steve McQueen film, Twelve Years A Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, is based on a book of the same name, co-written by Solomon Northup, detailing his 12 years in captivity. 

I don't think I'm spoiling the story by saying that Northup was eventually a free man again, which officially happened on January 4, 1853 - 160 years ago, almost exactly. Today is the 12th of January, so we missed this by 8 days. But close enough.

And to commemorate that glorious day in the man's life, an illustrated version of the book (with illustrations by Randy DeCuir) has been released. It was actually released just 2 days ago, January 10, and you can pick up a copy on for $10.

The 232-page illustrated book is said to contain countless real photographs during Northup's day, portraits and illustrations, all of which give readers a visualization of the names, places and events that Northup describes throughout his novel. 

I'd like to think that McQueen and company are probably aware that this month marks the 160th anniversary of Northup's freedom, so wouldn't it be fitting if they released the first trailer for the film sometime soon - at least before the end of January?

To buy a copy of the illustrated version of Twelve Years A Slave, click HERE.

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  • Frank Eakin | January 19, 2013 7:33 PMReply

    Coming in February 2013 from Eakin Films & Publishing: TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE audiobook performed by Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr. Louis masterfully brings Solomon Northup to life. A portion of sales proceeds go to Lou's foundation which seeks to bring an end the stigma of racism, as well as the major foundations that combat current day slavery and human trafficking.

    The person who re-discovered the TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE manuscript in the 20th century and made it her lifetime work, Dr. Sue Eakin, completed her final definitive version of the book in 2007 with the original a narrative, plus over 150 pages of additional background info, photos and unique maps. The e-book will be releases in March. Website coming March. For now, learn more at:

    Facebook page:
    Twitter: 12yearsbook

  • David Fiske | January 13, 2013 9:53 AMReply

    Pardon my shameless plug, but I published a book last year, Solomon Northup: His Life Before and After Slavery. Info on it at:

    Also, I am a co-author of a forthcoming biography of Northup (Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave):

  • David Fiske | January 14, 2013 6:43 PM

    I reached out to Plan B for that purpose. Didn't get much of a response, but then, I'm not in the industry. I live in a relatively small town in upstate New York, near Saratoga Springs, from which Northup was kidnapped. Anyone here have a Plan B connection?

  • Donella | January 14, 2013 11:49 AM

    I hope the movie acknowledges the rest of the story somehow. Either a montage, or crawl, or something that tells about his work as an Underground Railroad conductor and abolitionist. I believe we could all benefit from hearing a true tale of slavery and freedom in North America.

  • David Fiske | January 13, 2013 5:29 PM

    Thank you, Donella. This all started in the 90s, due to my personal curiosity about the 'rest of the story.'

  • Donella | January 13, 2013 3:13 PM

    I've been to your site, David and I wish you every success for the work you did.

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