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Winthrop Professor Unlocks Mystery Of First African-American Female Novelist

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The Bondwoman's Narrative, Beineke Library, Yale University

A novel called The Bondwoman's Narrative was a best-seller in 2002 - about 150 years after it was written. The book is believed to be the first novel penned by an African-American woman. The author was listed as "Hannah Crafts," but no one knew the identify of the writer. That has changed, thanks to the research of Winthrop University professor Gregg Hecimovich. He's the chairman of the Winthrop's English Department. He's identified the author as a former North Carolina slave named Hannah Bond, and his findings are endorsed by prominent scholars such as Henry Louis Gates. Professor Hecimovich spoke to WFAE's Mark Rumsey about his research: