Book Details

Harper Collins Logo

To read e-books on the HC Reader App, download it on:

Washington Black

A Novel

About the Book

A dazzling, original novel of slavery and freedom, from the author of the international bestseller Half-Blood Blues

In 1830, two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, bringing with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black—an eleven-year-old field slave—is horrified to find himself chosen to live in the quarters of one of these men. But his new master is not as Washington expects him to be. He is the eccentric Christopher Wilde—naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist—whose obsession with perfecting a winged flying machine disturbs all who know him. Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea viewed from a hilltop explodes with light, where a simple cloth canopy can propel a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning—and where two people separated by an impossible divide can begin to see each other as human.

But when a man is killed one fateful night, Washington is left at the mercy of his new masters. Christopher Wilde must choose between family ties and young Washington’s life. What follows is a flight along the eastern coast of America, as the men attempt to elude the bounty that has been placed on Washington’s head. Their journey opens them up to the extraordinary: a dark encounter with a necropsicist, a scholar of the flesh; a voyage aboard a vessel captained by a hunter of a different kind; a glimpse through an unexpected portal into the Underground Railroad. This is a novel of fraught bonds and betrayal. What brings Wilde and Washington together ultimately tears them apart, leaving the boy to seek his true self in a world that denies his very existence.

From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy wastes of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness and mystery of life. This inventive, electrifying novel asks, what is freedom? Can a life salvaged from the ashes ever be made whole?


Educator and Librarian Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443423403
  • ISBN 10: 1443423408
  • Imprint: Patrick Crean Editions
  • On Sale: 09/04/2018
  • List Price: 16.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Literary

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.


International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.

HarperCollins Reader

We created the HC Reader App to be a simple way to read our e-books. Our App is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

We strongly encourage using the HarperCollins reader application since it supports the type of file we are using. You may experience some technical difficulties using a different reader application.


  1. You need a HarperCollins Account. If you purchase/have purchased an e-book from HarperCollins, this is your account login and password. If not, please click here to register.
  2. Download the HC Reader App on iOS or Android. Enter your HarperCollins account username and password. Please note that your username is an e-mail address.
  3. Download your e-book and enjoy!