Esi Edugyan’s Featured Book

Washington Black

*WINNER OF THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

*FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 

*NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY The Globe and Mail • CBC • Toronto Star • Maclean’s The Boston Globe  The Washington Post ● Time ● Entertainment Weekly ● San Francisco Chronicle ● Financial Times ● Minneapolis Star Tribune ● NPR ● The Economist ● Bustle ● The Dallas Morning The New York Times Book Review

Eleven-year-old George Washington Black—or Wash—a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry 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 and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Over the course of their travels, what brings Wash and Christopher together will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.

Buy the Book:

Owl’s Nest Books | Shelf Life Books

Esi Edugyan’s Recommended Book

Through The Garden by Lorna Crozier

A deeply affecting portrait of a long partnership and a clear-eyed account of the impact of a serious illness, writing as consolation, and the enduring significance of poetry from one of Canada’s most celebrated voices. 

When we ran off together in 1978, abandoning our marriages and leaving wreckage in our wake, I was a “promising writer,” Patrick had just won the Governor General’s Award. I was so happy for him, and I’ve continued to be every time an honour comes his way, but I knew if I didn’t grow, if I remained merely someone who showed potential, we wouldn’t last. I swore I wouldn’t play the dutiful wife, cheerleader, and muse of the great male writer, and he didn’t envision a partner like that. We aspired to flourish together and thrive in words and books and gardens.

When Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane met at a poetry workshop in 1976, they had no idea that they would go on to write more than forty books between them, balancing their careers with their devotion to each other, and to their beloved cats, for decades. Then, in January 2017, their life together changed unexpectedly when Patrick became seriously ill. Despite tests and the opinions of many specialists, doctors remained baffled. There was no diagnosis and no effective treatment plan. The illness devastated them both.

During this time, Lorna turned to her writing as a way of making sense of her grief and for consolation. She revisited her poems, tracing her own path as a poet along with the evolution of her relationship with Patrick. The result is an intimate and intensely moving memoir about the difficulties and joys of creating a life with someone and the risks and immense rewards of partnership. At once a spirited account of the past and a poignant reckoning with the present, it is, above all, an extraordinary and unforgettable love story. 

Told with unflinching honesty and fierce tenderness, Through the Garden is a candid, clear-eyed portrait of a long partnership and an acknowledgement, a tribute, and a gift.

Buy the Book:

Owl’s Nest Books | Shelf Life Books

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