My new novel, The Vanishing Woman, has just come off the press–although I haven’t received my copies just yet.
The Vanishing Woman is based on the incredible true story of Ellen Craft, a light-skinned slave who escaped in 1848 by posing as a white man. She couldn’t pose as a white woman because her husband William was pretending to be her slave, and a woman could not travel north with a male slave. So she had to pose as a white man for several tension-filled days leading up to Christmas ’48.
The publisher, Bay Forest Books, just sent out an “eblast” to thousands of librarians, promoting both The Vanishing Woman and my companion novel, The Disappearing Man. The Disappearing Man is based on another unusual escape, which took place just three months after Ellen and William Craft escaped. It is based on the story of Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom by sealing himself in a box and being shipped from Richmond to Philadelphia.
The two novels, as a set, make nice bookends on the Underground Railroad. One novel focuses on a man, while the other focuses on a woman. One character escaped hidden away in a box, while the other escaped by hiding in plain sight.
By Doug Peterson