“The 2018 winner of Canada’s prestigious Giller Prize, opens on a sugar plantation in British Barbados in the waning days of slavery and, against that backdrop of unconscionable brutality, quickly tips us into a new world of possibility: one in which men take to the skies in hot-air balloons, dive to mysterious ocean depths and cross the Arctic on foot.”
Featured in New York Times’ Best Books of 2018.
“George Washington Black – Wash to one and all – is an enslaved 11-year-old who lives and toils on a Barbados sugar plantation. When the plantation master’s brother visits, he “borrows” Wash as ballast for a hot-air balloon he has constructed, but he also becomes Wash’s mentor and protector.”
Featured in NPR’s Best Books of 2018.
“In Edugyan’s third novel, a young slave escapes a brutal existence on a Barbados sugar plantation by hot air balloon, but this isn’t simply a fantastical fairy tale.”
Featured in Washington Post’s Best Books of 2018.
Washington Black: A Novel by Esi Edugyan is a fantastic story of an eleven-year-old boy who breaks the shackles of slavery to become a brilliant scientific illustrator. Washington Black is the third novel of Canadian writer Esi Edugyan.
The plot of the novel revolves around the life of an eleven-year-old boy named George Washington Black, who is employed as a slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. He is petrified of being chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. However, to his amazement, his master’s brother named Christopher Wilde turns out to be an inventor, explorer, naturalist, and abolitionist. Soon George is introduced to a world where a child born in harness can lead a life of meaning and dignity, where a flying machine can enable a human being to fly like a bird, and where people divided by race, color, status, class, social background, can begin to see one another as human.
Washington Black tells a story of love and redemption, betrayal and self-invention, of a world, devastated and redeemed again, and it compels readers to ask a very important question – “what is true freedom, after all?”
Washington Black is the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize. The novel was featured as top ten books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, TIME, New York Times, and named as one of the best books of the year by Bustle, The Economist, NPR, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune.