A symbol of the strength of African-American women, and a champion of the rights of all women, Sojourner Truth was an illiterate former slave named Isabella who became a vastly powerful orator. Dictated to a neighbor and first published in 1850, Truth's celebrated story chronicles her life as a slave in New York State, her 1827 emancipation under state law, her religious experiences and her transformation into an extraordinary abolitionist, feminist, and impassioned speaker. Truth's magnetism brought her fame in her own time, and her narrative gives us a vivid picture of nineteenth-century life in the North, where blacks, enslaved or free, lived in relative isolation from one another. Based on the most complete text, the 1884 edition of the Narrative, this volume contains the "Book of Life" - a collection of letters and biographical sketches about Truth, including the controversial transcription of her "Ar'n't I a Woman" speech and Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1863 essay "Sojourner Truth, the Libyan Sibyl" - as well as "A Memorial Chapter" about her death. In her Introduction, historian and Truth biographer Nell Irvin Painter looks at the woman behind the myth.