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Washington Black: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018
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Washington Black: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 (Paperback)

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New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year 2018

Sunday Times Paperback of the Year 2019

'A masterpiece' Attica Locke

'Strong, beautiful and beguiling' Observer

'Destined to become a future classic ... that rare book that should appeal to every kind of reader' Guardian

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven-year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of them. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist, whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him.

Titch's idealistic plans are soon shattered and Washington finds himself in mortal danger. They escape together, but then Titch disappears and Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible.

Inspired by a true story, Washington Black is an extraordinary tale of a world destroyed and made whole again.

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Profile Books Ltd Publication Date: 04/04/2019 ISBN-13: 9781846689604  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Esi Edugyan's Washington Black has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 and The Scotiabank Giller Prize 2018. Her previous novel, Half Blood Blues won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor-General's Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Prize, and the Orange Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia

More books by Esi Edugyan

Customer Reviews

Esi Edugyan creates a hugely empathetic character in the eponymous Washington Black. There is an element of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the story (Wash is the 'other', with added layers to elicit fear/disgust/prejudice in the stranger). The story carries the readers forward at an almost breathless pace and for the most part is totally believable. However, the evidence of a good editor disappears towards to the end, leaving us with distractions. Why use 21st century language in an early 19th century story (surely 'a random harasser' is not 1830s' vocabulary)? Disappointing intrusion of lipstick in 1837 when the term, let alone the product, was not introduced until 1884 (yes, women rouged their lips for millennia, but not with 'lipstick')? At a point in the novel when all energies and emotions should be directed to the dénouement, this reader was wishing Edugyan's editor hadn't taken her/his eye off the ball. I can understand why this was short-lister for the Booker but not awarded the ultimate prize. I would recommend it as a great read and will explore Edugyan's other work, but offer the impertinent caveat that there are flaws.

- 20/05/2019
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Staff Choice

Full of vividly-drawn, lovable (and detestable) characters, this is a compulsively readable adventure set amid the world of 19th century slavery and science. From his heart-rending life on a Barbados plantation to his heart-stopping flight aboard a flying machine, you'll be gobbling up the globe-trotting story of the eponymous Washington Black as it unfolds, and keen to press it into someone else's hands when it ends.

Kirsty, Buying Team

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 20/09/2019


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