Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Author Talk with Ilyon Woo

  • Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom
  • Tuesday, June 6, 2023. 12pm - 1:00pm
  • State Library of Massachusetts - Room 341, Massachusetts State House
  • Livestream:

Please join us on Tuesday, June 6th at noon, in our historic reading room for an exciting author talk event with Ilyon Woo who will be discussing her New York Times Bestseller, Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom. We will also be livestreaming the talk on our Youtube channel, courtesy of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Broadcast Services.

About the bookMaster Slave Husband Wife is the riveting, true story of Ellen and William Craft. The Crafts were a young, enslaved couple who, in 1848, made the perilous decision to flee from Macon, Georgia to seek freedom in the North. A journey like no other, Ellen disguised herself as an older, wealthy white man traveling with his slave, William. The book follows the Crafts as they make their way to Philadelphia, Boston, and eventually Canada. Along the way, the couple gained a certain celebrity status, joining the abolitionist movement with such leaders like Frederick Douglass. Woo’s well-researched book presents a story of the Crafts and antebellum America which reads almost like it could be a major movie with themes of freedom, self-emancipation, and love. 

About the author: In addition to Master Slave Husband Wife, Woo is the New York Times best-selling author of The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother’s Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times. She received a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Writing Grant for Master Slave Husband Wife. Woo’s writing has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and The New York Times. Woo holds a BA in the Humanities from Yale College and a PhD in English from Columbia University. For more information on Woo and her work, visit her site:

If you are able to join us in person, attendees will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session with the author as well as purchase a copy of the book. As always, this author talk is free and open to all. Assisted listening devices will be made available upon request. Any questions or concerns, please email us at

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