Esi Edugyan Pages: 334 Published: 2018
The book: It’s 1830. George Washington Black (Wash) is an eleven-year-old field slave on a plantation in Barbados. His master’s brother, Christopher Wilde, needs a slave to assist him in building a flying machine. He selects Wash and so begins a new chapter in the young slave’s life, which will take him on a journey far beyond the confines of the planation in Barbados. The strained relationship between Christopher Wilde and his brother will have a lasting impact on Wash. What will become of Washington Black? Where will his journey with Christopher take him?
You might like it because: Edugyan’s storytelling seems effortless, and the plot moves along with great pace. She creates and brings to life memorable characters that will live with the reader long after they put the book down. This is a moving story that touches on race, slavery, and suppression of black achievement.
What did other people say?
“Terrifically exciting . . . An engrossing hybrid of 19th-century adventure and contemporary subtlety, a rip-roaring tale of peril imbued with our most persistent strife… Discover what the rest of the world already knows: Edugyan is a magical writer.” – Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“Perfectly executed . . . Soaring . . . More than a tale of human bondage, it’s also an enthralling meditation on the weight of freedom, wrapped in a rousing adventure story stretching to the ends of the earth.”
– Renée Graham, The Boston Globe
Awards & Recognition:
Shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.
Winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2018
One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018
How quickly will you get into the book? Edugyan crafts a story that grabs you right away. By the second page I was vested in knowing what happens, and by page twenty-five there was no stopping.
You might not like it because: For some readers, the end of the story may not be definitive enough; they may want to know more about what happened to some of the main characters.
What might you read next?
In an interview with the Times Literary Supplement, Edugyan was asked, “What is your favorite book published in the past 12 months?” You could read the first book she named: Ta-Nehise Coates’s We Were Eight Years in Power.
In an interview for the Man Booker Prize, she was asked what her favorite Man Booker-winning novel was. She said, “V.S. Naipal’s In a Free State made a great impression on me when I first read it.” You could pick up that book.
© Bookcurious.com 2018
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