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The Water Dancer

Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Penguin
04 November 2020
Every slave plantation is a house of spies and intrigue. No slave walks a straight line or has a single story - deep within their hearts is rebellion. But against whom?

Hiram Walker is a man with a gift and a curse. He was born between worlds- his father a white plantation master, his mother black and enslaved. And, unbeknown even to himself, he was born with a special power. When he is sold to a new mistress as punishment for attempting escape, Hiram discovers her home is a secret hub of the underground railroad- a training ground for its agents.

Hiram fast becomes a highly skilled agent, retrieving the enslaved from the most dangerous circumstances and gradually learning to harness his power - but betrayals lurk everywhere. And eventually Hiram must risk everything to return to his father's plantation and free the friends he left behind.
By:   Ta-Nehisi Coates
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   287g
ISBN:   9780241982518
ISBN 10:   0241982510
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   04 November 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and the author of the Number One New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, winner of the National Book Award, and of the acclaimed essay collection We Were Eight Years in Power. A MacArthur Fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story 'The Case for Reparations'. He lives in New York with his wife and son.

Reviews for The Water Dancer

Slavery, forgetting and memory are at the heart of Coates's ambitious, compelling first novel... * TLS * Ta-Nehisi Coates has emerged as an important public intellectual and perhaps America's most incisive thinker about race. * New York Times * This potent book about America's most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist. * San Francisco Chronicle * Beautiful prose and wonderful characters . . . an important book written by one of the great thinkers of our times. It's a thriller, a historical how-to, a love story and a warning. I read it one long night and the next day pressed it into everyone's hands. Brilliant. In prose that sings and imagination that soars, Coates further cements himself as one of this generation's most important writers, tackling one of America's oldest and darkest periods with grace and inventiveness. This is bold, dazzling, and not to be missed * Publisher's Weekly * Eagerly anticipated . . . The Water Dancer merges historical and fantasy fiction in a slavery story that Oprah Winfrey says is one of the best books she has read in her life. * Observer * An arresting story of fantastical power in the brutal world of human bondage . . . A transcendent, arresting work from a crucial political and literary artist -- Diana Evans A tale of slavery and mysterious power in this debut novel from one of America's most exciting young writers. * The Times * a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance . . . timeless and instantly canon-worthy. * Rolling Stone * a crowd-pleasing exercise in breakneck and often occult storytelling that tonally resembles the work of Stephen King as much as it does the work of Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead and the touchstone African-American science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. * New York Times * a remarkable story about inequality, slavery, memory, freedom and dignity. I found it important and universally relevant -- Elif Shafak * Guardian * One of the best books I have ever read in my entire life . . . I was enthralled, I was devastated. -- Oprah Winfrey Any writer tackling slavery needs to do something different with it, and The Water Dancer does just that. Coates' rhapsodic prose spins a soaring, scorching, supernatural tale of the imagination that sets this history alight and turns it into an original work of art. -- Bernardine Evaristo


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