Washington Black

Washington Black

eBook - 2018
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• TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Slate• ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Boston Globe, NPR, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Economist, Bustle• WINNER OF THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE• FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE, THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE, THE ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE"Enthralling" —Boston Globe "Extraordinary" —Seattle Times "A rip-roaring tale" —Washington PostA dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world.George Washington Black, or "Wash," an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master's brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning—and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Christopher and Wash must abandon everything. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic. What brings Christopher and Wash together will tear them apart, propelling Wash even further across the globe in search of his true self. From the blistering cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, from the earliest aquariums of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black tells a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again, and asks the question, What is true freedom?
Publisher: 2018
ISBN: 9780525521433
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jun 11, 2019

An interesting read...ultimately, it felt like the relationships between George Washington Black and Christopher Wilde was an allegory of the systemic relationship between "blackness" and "whiteness."

Jun 01, 2019

The book is a very entertaining read that held my attention, but I don’t understand the hype. The plot relies on too many convenient and contrived encounters to move the story along. The first half of the book on the plantation and early travels is the strongest; the last third is a travelogue that ends opaquely.

May 29, 2019

Tuesday Feb 25 Meeting

May 13, 2019

Easy to read, popular fiction, like a movie but a book, limited vocabulary, almost all-male cast. Entertaining, like a Reader's Digest story, but longer. Not literary fiction, more suited to children than adults.

May 04, 2019

different kind of book, got caught up in story, well written of course. recommend

Apr 21, 2019

The strange quest of a young black man through many lands as he attempts to survive and find meaning in his life. The story is sometimes shockingly brutal. Wash is deeply touched by several people in his life, until he finally comes upon the man who started him on the journey of his life! Set in the 1830 during the slave trade , which was abolished in England but not in America! Richly told with unforgettable characters.

Apr 01, 2019

This is a fascinating combination of the old and the new. It is a historical novel that roams around the Americas and England in the nineteenth century - sure we have a lot of excellent novels that do that. This novel's narrator is a man enslaved in Barbados who becomes an assistant to a white balloonist. Race relations then are of course a factor in the events and characterization in the novel. They are never preached about or singled out. They do not have to be - they are a part of the cards culture and society deal to the characters in the novel. This is Esi Edugyan's second novel. her first about jazz, Nazi Germany, and other things, I have just started. In "Washington Black", she weaves fascinating description that has just enough details to keep the reader involved and wanting to read ahead. Profound emotions we all experience, are described precisely: "I understood, in that terrible moment, the terrible bottomless nature of the open world, when one belongs nowhere, and to no one." Wash's drive to re-unite with his white mentor reaches a conclusion that seems inevitable, but leaves the reader with questions as well as some answers.

Mar 15, 2019

NYT 10 Best 2018

Mar 13, 2019

A wonderful novel. My first by this author, but it reminded me of Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes.

Mar 04, 2019


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Apr 06, 2019

Too brutal, too disturbing - not bedtime reading.

Sep 12, 2018

Born into slavery on Faith Plantation in Bardbados, George Washington Black has never known any other life. When his master dies, the slaves expect the estate to be broken up and sold off, but instead two brother arrive, nephews of the old owner. Erasmus Wilde proves to be a cruel man who drives his slaves harder than the old owner ever did. But his brother, Christopher “Titch” Wilde, is a man of science, and while the other slaves on Faith are doomed to a harder lot, Wash is selected to help Titch with his experiments, and his seemingly impossible dream to launch an airship called the Cloud Cutter. However, being selected as Titch’s assistant will come at a price Wash could never have expected, and their strange, uneven relationship will change the course of Wash’s life forever, for better and for worse.


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Sep 12, 2018

I carried that nail like a shard of darkness in my fist. I carried it like a secret, like a crack through which some impossible future might be glimpsed. I carried it like a key.


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