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The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
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The Book of Negroes (original 2007; edition 2010)

by Lawrence Hill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2451202,855 (4.34)261
Member:heina
Title:The Book of Negroes
Authors:Lawrence Hill
Info:Black Swan (2010), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:2012, download

Work details

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (2007)

  1. 20
    A mercy by Toni Morrison (tangentialine)
  2. 64
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: The book has a similar familial tone and is also told from the point of view of young girls growing up in a difficult situation. I had been looking for a book with a similar writing style and was happy to find this one. If you liked The Book of Negroes I recommend The Poisonwood Bible and vice versa.… (more)
  3. 20
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (LDVoorberg)
  4. 10
    Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty by Cassandra Pybus (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Pybus offers a brilliant nonfiction account of the events in Hill's novel, as well as extending the story to penal colonies in Australia.
  5. 10
    Slave by Mende Nazer (_Lana_)
    _Lana_: If you enjoyed reading about slavery in a historical setting you might be interested in a true-tale of slavery’s modern form. Both books also have strong female protagonists.
  6. 10
    The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African by Olaudah Equiano (tangentialine)
  7. 00
    The Classic Slave Narratives by Henry Louis Jr Gates (Cecilturtle)
  8. 00
    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (vancouverdeb)
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» See also 261 mentions

English (111)  Dutch (6)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
"The abolitionists may well call me their equal, but their lips do not yet say my name and their ears do not yet hear my story. Not the way I want to tell it. But I have long loved the written word, and come to see in it the power of the sleeping lion. This is my name. This is who I am. This is how I got here. In the absence of an audience, I will write down my story so that it waits like a restful beast with lungs breathing and heart beating." (page 101)

This is the life of Aminata Diallo. Aminata is telling her story in her sixties to the abolitionists in England to support their cause in eliminating the slave shipments and eventually slavery itself. As an eleven year old on a slave ship on the way to America, Aminata decides she must stay alive to bear witness and testify. She wants to be a djeli, a storyteller. "It was said that when a djeli passed away, the knowledge of one hundred men died with him." (page 55) In Aminata's case, by the end of the book, it seems she has knowledge enough for one hundred lives she has lived herself. Her life is so full of change & migration but it is always painful & heartbreaking. At times it is almost too much to even read. But this is a very unique story, covering the Revolutionary War, the British promising freedom to slaves in America if they fought behind British lines for a year. Eventually some of them are able to migrate to British colonies like Nova Scotia. That doesn't work out too well, so many decide to travel to Africa to start Freetown, too close for comfort to Sierra Leone, the lion mountain and the "slave factory" Aminata remembers all too well. No matter where Aminata travels, hardships await. The most heartbreaking is while in Freetown, the slaves are still marching by in chains on their way to the coast, while the members of Freetown can do nothing. On another level, the Africans that visit Freetown now don't believe any of the returned were ever from Africa in the first place... they are now not much different from the slave traders to them. It's a sort of hellish limbo. The book is very well written but almost too matter-of-fact at times, but that might be because there is so much in Aminata's life to put to the page. Aminata is one of the strongest characters I've read and so admirable. ( )
  booklove2 | Sep 1, 2014 |
Beautiful story of a girl abducted from Africa as a slave and her subsequent life over six decades.
( )
  Kirstie_Innes-Will | Apr 18, 2014 |
Wow! A gripping, moving, historical novel that I simply couldn't stop listening to. The narrator was superb and the story was spellbinding--highly recommended! ( )
  obedah | Mar 26, 2014 |
Other reviewers here have said much of what I might say. Suffice to add that my main tag for this book would be "resilience". Over and over and over again the protagonist pulls herself up after being beaten down: throughout her life, she persists. A heart-wrenching and poignant story. ( )
  MargaretYatsevitch | Feb 12, 2014 |
"Stunning, wrenching and inspiring!!!! Astonishing in scope, humanity and beauty, this is one of those very rare novels in which the deep joy of reading transcends its time and place and lets readers experience a life, one footstep at a time, beside an unforgettable protagonist." this quote summed it up perfectly. my library book club loved it!!!!!! ( )
  amanaceerdh | Jan 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
With mature themes (e.g., a rape scene on the ship, descriptive killings, and sexual situations), this book is suited for older teens. Hill clearly researched multiple and sources to provide an accurate acount of Aminata's heroic journey and brings to life crucial world history. Teens who enjoyed Sharon Draper's Copper Sun will appreciate this page-turning novel.
added by Christa_Josh | editSchool Library Journal, Gregory Lum (Mar 1, 2008)
 
An unforgettable epic, seen through the eyes of a sharply realized, indomitable heroine.
added by Christa_Josh | editBooklist, Sarah Johnson (Oct 15, 2007)
 
Unfortunately, [Hill's] didactic purpose gets the upper hand and overwhelms the story. Aminata is simply too noble to be believable, and other major characters are mainly symbolic. Nevertheless, Hill's fascinating source material makes this a good choice for book clubs and discussion groups.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Edward St. John (Oct 1, 2007)
 
In depicting a woman who survives history's most trying conditions through force of intelligence and personality, Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force.
added by Christa_Josh | editPublishers Weekly (Sep 3, 2007)
 
Livet som slave: Velbalansert historisk fiksjon om slavehandelen og ondskapens banalitet
added by annek49 | editDagbladet, Cathrine Krøger (Jun 29, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence Hillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willems, IneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life.

--Deuteronomy 30:19
So geographers, in Afric-maps,

With savage-pictures fill their gaps;
And o'er unhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.
--Jonathan Swift
Dedication
For my daughter, and kindred spirit, Genevieve Aminata
First words
I seem to have trouble dying.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Book of Negroes (2007), published as Someone Knows My Name in the U.S.A, Australia, and New Zealand.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Publisher Comments:
Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom—and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public. This captivating story of one woman's remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.
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Dreaming of escaping her life of slavery in South Carolina and returning to her African home, slave Aminata Diallo is thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War, during which she helps create a list of black people who have been honored for their service to the king.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

Two editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393065782, 0393333094

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