A book we were excited about even before hearing it would be longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize: Victoria-based writer Esi Edugyan’s powerful, historically-set novel, Washington Black (Knopf). Last here for her previous novel, Half Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was a finalist for the Booker, Governor General’s, and Orange Prizes, this is a night not to be missed.
“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...One of the most unconventional escapes from slavery ever chronicled...Edugyan displays as much ingenuity and resourcefulness as her main characters in spinning this yarn, and the reader’s expectations are upended almost as often as her hero’s. A thoughtful, boldly imagined ripsnorter that broadens inventive possibilities for the antebellum novel.”—Kirkus Reviews.
“Washington Black is nothing short of a masterpiece. Esi Edugyan has a rare talent for turning over little known stones of history and giving her reader a new lens on the world, a new way of understanding subject matter we arrogantly think we know everything about. This book is an epic adventure and a heartfelt tale about love and morality and their many contradictions. I loved it.”—Attica Locke.