422pp., paperback, Reprint, London, (2018) 2019
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Winner of the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Finalist for the 2018 Carnegie Award and Rogers Writers' Trust Prize.
Washington Black - an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation - is selected as personal servant to co-owner 'Titch', a naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist. Inspired by a true story.
"At the core of this novel, with its searing, supple prose and superb characters, is a visceral depiction of the abomination of slavery. Yet, as importantly, it explores an unlikely friendship, the limits to understanding another's suffering, the violence lurking in humans and the glories of adventure in a world full of wonders." Elizabeth Buchan Daily Mail
"Magnificent and strikingly visual prose... By placing a black slave at the heart and centre of this epic romp, by making Wash the explorer of lands, science and art, Edugyan reclaims long-lost terrain in this ambitious, head-spinning work." Financial Times
"Washington Black's triumph is to make us think searchingly about slavery and racism, while entertaining us in the style of Dickens... An epic, powerfully imagined, continent-spanning tale." Times Literary Supplement
"Astonishing...Washington Black's presence in these pages is fierce and unsettling. His urge to live all he can is matched by his eloquence." Colm Tóibín, The New York Times
Esi Edugyan's 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.