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Washington Black

A Novel

About the Book

A dazzling new novel of slavery and freedom from Esi Edugyan, winner of the Giller Prize for the international bestseller Half-Blood Blues

When two mysterious English cousins arrive to take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, nervousness and fear run high. Washington Black—an eleven-year-old field slave who has known no other life—is aghast at suddenly finding himself the personal servant of one of these men. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde—naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist—whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies and frightens all around him. Through Wilde, Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea viewed from a hilltop shivers with light, where a simple cloth canopy can propel a man across the sky, where even a boy born into chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning.

Then, on a disastrous voyage, Wilde disappears. Washington is forced to make his way back to the civilized world alone. One day, however, a man appears in Washington’s new life, making claims about the past. Is this man truly the long-lost Wilde? If so, what are the real motives behind his return? And is it possible that his resurrection will destroy everything?

Based on an infamous criminal case of the nineteenth century, Washington Black tells the story of a friendship and its betrayal. From the sultry cane fields of Barbados to the icy wastes of the Canadian Arctic, from the pristine English countryside to the mud-drowned streets of San Francisco, it is the story of a world destroyed and made whole again, where certainty seems unattainable, and men must remain strangers even to themselves.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443423403
  • ISBN 10: 1443423408
  • Imprint: Patrick Crean Editions
  • On Sale: 09/05/2017
  • List Price: 16.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Literary

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

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