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Washington Black
Cover of Washington Black
Washington Black
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018
WINNER OF THE GILLER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL AND THE ROGERS WRITERS TRUST FICTION PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE 2019
New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year 2018

'A masterpiece' Attica Locke
'Strong, beautiful and beguiling' Observer
'Destined to become a future classic ... that rare book that should appeal to every kind of reader' Guardian

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven-year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of them. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist, whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him.
Titch's idealistic plans are soon shattered and Washington finds himself in mortal danger. They escape together, but then Titch disappears and Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible.
Inspired by a true story, Washington Black is an extraordinary tale of a world destroyed and made whole again.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018
WINNER OF THE GILLER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL AND THE ROGERS WRITERS TRUST FICTION PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE 2019
New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year 2018

'A masterpiece' Attica Locke
'Strong, beautiful and beguiling' Observer
'Destined to become a future classic ... that rare book that should appeal to every kind of reader' Guardian

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven-year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of them. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist, whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him.
Titch's idealistic plans are soon shattered and Washington finds himself in mortal danger. They escape together, but then Titch disappears and Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible.
Inspired by a true story, Washington Black is an extraordinary tale of a world destroyed and made whole again.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Esi Edugyan's Washington Black has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 and The Scotiabank Giller Prize 2018. Her previous novel, Half Blood Blues won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor-General's Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Prize, and the Orange Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 9, 2018
    Edugyan’s magnificent third novel (after Half-Blood Blues) again demonstrates her range and gifts. Eleven-year-old slave George Washington Black cuts sugar cane on a Barbados plantation owned by a sadistic Englishman named Erasmus Wilde until Wilde’s scientist brother, Titch, visits in 1830 to work on the experimental airship he calls Cloud-cutter. Titch makes Wash his servant because the boy’s weight makes suitable ballast for Cloud-cutter, teaches Wash to read, and nurtures his gift for scientific thought and illustration. As Wash is transformed—and confused—by Titch’s tutelage, Erasmus becomes increasingly punitive toward him. Titch, afraid for his protégé’s life, devises a risky nighttime escape on Cloud-cutter, which collides with the masts of a ship bound for Virginia. After arriving there, the two head northward, getting as far as the Arctic before Titch, insisting that Wash stay behind, strikes out into the snow for reasons Wash cannot understand. Not knowing whether Titch is alive or dead, Wash continues his travels and scientific work. But he feels compelled to find out Titch’s fate and learn why his mentor rejected him. Framing the story with rich evocations of the era’s science and the world it studies, Edugyan mines the tensions between individual goodwill and systemic oppression, belonging and exclusion, wonder and terror, and human and natural order. The novel’s patience feels essential: the characters’ many passages from painful endings to tentative rebirths are necessarily slow and searching. Crafted in supple, nuanced prose, Edugyan’s novel is both searing and beautiful.

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018
Esi Edugyan
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