Slaves in the Family
by Edward Ball
Fifteen years after its hardcover debut, the FSG Classics reissue of the celebrated work of narrative nonfiction that won the National Book Award and changed the American conversation about race, with a new preface by the author
The Ball family hails from South Carolina ― Charleston and thereabouts. Their plantations were among the oldest and longest-standing plantations in the South. Between 1698 and 1865, close to four thousand black people were born into slavery under the Balls or were bought by them. In Slaves in the Family, Edward Ball recounts his efforts to track down and meet the descendants of his family's slaves. Part historical narrative, part oral history, part personal story of investigation and catharsis, Slaves in the Family is, in the words of Pat Conroy, "a work of breathtaking generosity and courage, a magnificent study of the complexity and strangeness and beauty of the word ‘family.'"