Esi Edugyan is the author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize and finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize, and the Orange Prize. In 2014, she published her first book of nonfiction, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home. Washington Black, her latest novel, was recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent book, Washington Black, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Edugyan lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and two children.
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Reviews of Washington Black:
- “Washington Black opens on a 19th-century sugar plantation in Barbados and launches into the horrors of that experience from the child’s-eye view of the eponymous Washington Black, an 11-year-old slave” – In the Guardian
- “High adventure fraught with cliffhanger twists marks this runaway-slave narrative, which leaps, sails, and soars from Caribbean cane fields to the fringes of the frozen Arctic and across a whole ocean” – In Kirkus Reviews
- “The novel’s patience feels essential: the characters’ many passages from painful endings to tentative rebirths are necessarily slow and searching” – In Publishers Weekly
Interviews and Articles:
- “Drop everything when your children need you. Some days it seems the most obvious thing in the world. Other days it’s a struggle. I’ve never regretted a lost sentence; there’s always another” – At the TLS
- “I’m always looking at stories of people who aren’t necessarily part of the social fabric. They’re this one outlier, or they’re at a strange moment in history” – In the Guardian
- “From the author of the award-winning international best seller Half-Blood Blues comes a dazzling new novel, about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world” – In Brittle Paper
When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves already know. Washington Black, a young field slave, is horrified to be chosen to live with one of these men. But the eccentric Christopher Wilde isn’t what Washington expects him to be, and in the wake of disaster, the two embark on a journey toward Black’s freedom.
From the cane fields of Barbados to the plains of the Arctic, from the streets of London to the deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness of life, asking what freedom truly means.