Washington Black

Washington Black

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring 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 the man is not as Washington expects him to be. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde -- naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist -- whose obsession to perfect a winged flying machine disturbs all who know him. Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea is set alight with fields of jellyfish, 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 to 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: to a dark encounter with a necropsicist, a scholar of the flesh; to a voyage aboard a vessel captained by a hunter of a different kind; to 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 Washington to seek his true self in a world that denies his very existence."--Publisher.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Patrick Crean Editions, c2018
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION EDU
Characteristics: 419 p. ; 24 cm


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Jan 07, 2019

This is a really wonderful book; the characters are very distinctive, the story is unique, and I loved the variety of beautifully described settings the protagonist travels through in the course of the book.

If I were going to pitch it to Hollywood I would say "It's the Book of Negroes meets Great Expectations". It shares similarities with both those books but is also very much its own thing...but if you liked either of those you will like this one for sure.

Dec 22, 2018

This is a wonderful book, well-deserving of the praise and awards it has received. Washington Black is a richly conceived character, one who will stay with me for a very long time.

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