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The Last Runaway

Cover of the Dutch translation of Tracy Chevalier's 'The Last Runaway' (De laatste vluchtelinge). Cover of the Dutch translation of Tracy Chevalier's 'The Last Runaway' (De laatste vluchtelinge).

The Last Runaway is a novel by the American author, Tracy Chevalier. Its main themes are quilting and head coverings (millinery). It was published in 2013 and is the author's seventh book. The novel is set in Ohio (USA) in the 1850's. The main character is Honor Bright, an English Quaker, who expresses herself through quilt making. She is involved in the Underground Railroad network, which helped slaves escaping to freedom.

The novel contrasts traditional English paper pieced quilt (deliberate, organised) making with the American reliance on appliqué and patchwork, which Bright calls “cheerful” but “unsophisticated". The book includes many references to the social importance of quilting in the mid-nineteenth century.

It should be noted that there are criticisms about this book. If it is read as a novel then it is regarded as fine. If read, however, as a narrative about British and American forms of quilting and the Underground Railroad in general, then care needs to be taken.

Sources:

  • CHEVALIER, Tracy (2013). The Last Runaway, New York: Harper.
  • www.tchevalier.com (retrieved 11th June 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 11th June 2016).

SA

Last modified on Monday, 26 June 2017 16:12