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Washington Black: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018
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Esi Edugyan
Washington Black: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 by Esi Edugyan at Abbey's Bookshop,

Washington Black: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

Esi Edugyan


Serpents Tail

Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


432 pages

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A dazzling new novel of slavery and freedom by the author of the Man Booker and Orange Prize shortlisted Half Blood Blues.

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, nervousness and fear run high. Washington Black - an eleven year-old field slave who has known no other life - is aghast to find himself selected as personal servant to one of these men. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde - naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist - whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him. Through Wilde, Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea viewed from a hilltop shivers with light; 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.

Then, on a disastrous voyage of escape, Wilde disappears. Washington is forced to make his way back to the civilized world alone. One day, however, a man appears in the doorway of his new life, making claims of the past. Is this truly the long-lost Wilde? If so, what are the real motives for his return? And is it possible that his resurrection will destroy everything?

Based on an infamous 19th century criminal case, Washington Black tells the story of a world destroyed and made whole again, where certainty seems unattainable, and men must remain strangers even to themselves.

By:   Esi Edugyan
Imprint:   Serpents Tail
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   456g
ISBN:   9781781258972
ISBN 10:   178125897X
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   September 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Esi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, 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.

Washington Black is nothing short of a masterpiece. Esi Edugyan has a rare talent for turning over little known stones of history and giving her reader a new lens on the world, a new way of understanding subject matter we arrogantly think we know everything about. This book is an epic adventure and a heartfelt tale about love and morality and their many contradictions. I loved it. -- Attica Locke Edugyan displays as much ingenuity and resourcefulness as her main characters ... A thoughtful, boldly imagined book that broadens inventive possibilities for the antebellum novel * starred Kirkus review * Praise for Half-Blood Blues 'Edugyan never stumbles with her storytelling, not over one sentence * Independent * Lyrical and genuinely exciting; a captivating book that races along with verve and panache. * Daily Express * Edugyan really can write ... redemptive * Guardian * Ingenious... * Daily Telegraph * Superbly atmospheric... [a] brilliant, fast-moving novel. * The Times * Assured, vivid and persuasive... Impressively evocative of period and place * Time Out * You'll relish how Edugyan's consistent, arresting musicality, at both the sentence and structural levels, develops its own accurate truth about experience... literary genius * Dallas News * Mesmerising... A remarkable novel * Morning Star * what stands out most is its cadenced narration and slangy dialogue, as conversations, both spoken and unspoken, snap, sizzle, and slide off the page. * Publisher's Weekly * shines with knowledge, emotional insight, and historical revisionism, yet it never becomes overburdened by its research. * Canberra Times * a triumph... punchy and atmospheric. * Sunday Times * Praise for Half-Blood Blues 'Simply stunning, one of the freshest pieces of fiction I've read. A story I'd never heard before, told in a way I'd never seen before. I felt the whole time I was reading it like I was being let in on something, the story of a legend deconstructed. It's a world of characters so realized that I found myself at one point looking up Hieronymus Falk on Wikipedia, disbelieving he was the product of one woman's imagination -- Attica Locke Sublime... * Booklist * Conversations, both spoken and unspoken, snap, sizzle, and slide off the page * Publishers' Weekly * Gripping... * Irish Times * Nimble storytelling . * International Herald Tribune * It's a box of treats that manages to work history, science and politics together under the guise of a high-stakes, steampunk adventure -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * The Times *

  • Long-listed for MAN Booker Prize 2018
  • Long-listed for PEN USA Literary Awards 2019 (UK)
  • Short-listed for LA Times Book Prize 2019 (UK)
  • Short-listed for MAN Booker Prize 2018
  • Winner of Giller Prize 2018
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