Esi Edugyan, author of The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half Blood Blues (winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize and finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize) discusses her new novel Washington Black (shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize), a gripping tale about a devastating bid for freedom.
When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black – an eleven-year-old field slave – finds himself selected as personal servant to one of these men. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher ‘Titch’ Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist, and he wants Washington to help him create the perfect aerial machine.
But Titch’s plans are soon shattered and Wash is plunged into mortal danger. They escape the island and embark on an incredible journey together – but when Titch disappears Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible.
From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy wastes of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black is the extraordinary tale – inspired by a true story – of a world destroyed and the search to make it whole again, teeming with all the strangeness and mystery of life.
Image credit: Tamara Poppitt