Wayne Grady is the award-winning author of 14 works of nonfiction, including The Quiet Limit of the World, Bringing Back the Dodo, and The Great Lakes. His first novel, Emancipation Day, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the 2013 Amazon First Novel Award. With his wife, novelist Merilyn Simonds, he co-authored Breakfast at the Exit Café: Travels Through America, and he co-wrote the international bestseller Tree: A Life Story with David Suzuki. He has also translated numerous works of fiction from French, by authors such as Yves Beauchemin and Danny Laferrièr, and he won the Governor General’s Literary Award for translation in 1989. Website: waynegrady.ca.
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Reviews of Up from Freedom:
- “Forgiveness is not easy, nor is the story that Grady tells. It is dark and painful, each injustice suffered by the slaves more grievous than the last” – In the Toronto Star
- “When writer Wayne Grady was 47 years old, he discovered a family secret. His father, whom he had known as a white man, was in fact a Black man passing for white” – In Quill & Quire
- “Grady’s new novel continues exploring his family history, traversing back another 100 years to the 1850s” – In the Toronto Star
Up from Freedom
Virgil Moody vowed he would never own slaves like his father did. When he leaves the family plantation, he takes with him Annie, a pregnant woman who he is sure will not survive. As the years pass, Moody comes to think of Annie as his wife and her baby, Lucas, as their son. But, as Annie reminds him, she and Moody will never be equal. Then their “family” breaks apart, and Lucas flees the only life he’s ever known. Moody travels through a country on the brink of civil war, searching for Lucas and slowly reconciling his past sins with his hopes for the future. But though some things may be forgotten, nothing is ever really forgiven.