HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Washington Black

by Esi Edugyan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3328810,125 (3.93)192
Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 192 mentions

English (87)  German (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
This book is brutal. The atrocities of slavery are hard to read, but in line with other slavery accounts I've read. It's also hard to believe that Washington was so young, but that was a time when children, and especially slaves, had to grow up fast. What is more realistically hard to believe are all the adventures and unlikely coincidences that occurred. It stretch credulity to the breaking point. Nevertheless, this was an interesting book. In addition to being about slavery, and about some amazing adventures, there is a good deal about human nature, good and bad. It also causes the reader to question perception – how someone views himself compared to his true motives, how someone else views him. “Enjoyable” isn't really the right word to use for this book, much too much brutality and hatred, but I'm glad I read it. I just didn't buy the whole story. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Oct 13, 2020 |
This was recommended to me as a book club selection so I likely wouldn't have picked it up otherwise.

I was intrigued at the start reading about the main character's experience as a slave and then his being spared by his master's brother. He proved to be a very deep person but I felt his actual age was too young for the dialogue he was having with those around him.

As the story progressed I felt it became a little far fetched about his travels and his romantic interest. It was an easy ready but maybe I needed it to be a little more realistic given the time period. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Aug 31, 2020 |
I don't have much to say about this one. It felt on the long side but I also appreciated the different settings and the story that connected them. The characters were interesting and the book left me wanting to learn more about the history of Black communities in Nova Scotia.
  munchie13 | Aug 6, 2020 |
"It is still best to be cautious, Wash, to place as little trust as possible in strangers. Men forget themselves too quickly, and a mercy is often the first thing revoked."

rtc? Though I'm not really sure how to put this one into words - strip it down to the plot and it's a book about wandering, so much boat fare, and so many environmental descriptions - but it was incredibly beautiful and thoughtful. Every person and, somehow, every place that we glanced by felt so real and complicated, even when they only got a page or two. One of those books that it sure feels like every colour of the curtains is gonna be on the test, and I love that about it. ( )
  Chyvalrys | Aug 5, 2020 |
The last third of this novel reminded me increasingly of Great Expectations. Perhaps because of the overlapping time frames or the Dickensian characterisation? Edugyan transports us from Barbados to North America to Europe and finally to North Africa and expertly enables us to experience both the beauty and harshness of the environments and their people. She does so with clarity but with the feeling of viewing events through a sepia lens. ( )
  Georgina_Watson | Jun 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
The reader can almost see what is coming. Since Barbados was under British rule, slavery was abolished there in 1834. This, then, could be a novel about the last days of the cruelty, about what happens to a slave-owning family and to the slaves during the waning of the old dispensation.

The Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan has other ideas, however. She is determined that the fate of Washington Black will not be dictated by history, that the novel instead will give him permission to soar above his circumstances and live a life that has been shaped by his imagination, his intelligence and his rich sensibility....Edugyan is willing to take great risks to release the reader from any easy or predictable interpretations of Washington. She is not afraid to allow him to have thoughts and knowledge that seem oddly beyond his command. That is part of his ambiguous power in the book, the idea that, owing to his unusual quickness and subtlety of mind, Washington can be trusted to know more than he should
 
Washington Black opens on a 19th-century sugar plantation in Barbados and launches into the horrors of that experience from the child’s-eye view of the eponymous Washington Black, an 11-year-old slave. But it would be a mistake to think that Esi Edugyan’s Man Booker-longlisted third book is an earnest story of colonial slavery....it is clear that Edugyan is coming at her subject sideways, not with gritty realism but with fabular edges, and as much concerned with the nature of freedom as with slavery, both for her white characters and black....The beauty here lies in Edugyan’s language, which is precise, vivid, always concerned with wordcraft and captivating for it...It’s not what readers who are wedded to realism might want, but Edugyan’s fiction always stays strong, beautiful and beguiling.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edugyan, Esiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burdeny, DaveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dyer, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graham, DionNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, JanetCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paassen, Catalien vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pappas, Cassandra J.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Read, AlexandraCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Cleo & Maddox
First words
I might have been ten, eleven years old—I cannot say for certain—when my first master died.
Quotations
I had not thought he bore any sort of relation to the master, but now the resemblance rose to sight, like a watermark: the brisk, bright-coloured eyes, the oddly plump lower lips, the way each man punctuated the ends of certain phrases with a languid sweep of the hand, as if the gesture were being performed underwater.
"I will never understand why you seek offence in everything I say. It is only the two of us here, and I have come for a limited stay. Would our time not be better enjoyed if we tried to understand each other?"
My voice seemed to stick to my ribs.
I was surprised by his great need to talk, as though he had gone several years without companionship.
But no secret can be kept for long. It is one of the truths of this world.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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? Amazon
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.93)
0.5
1 1
1.5 2
2 15
2.5 5
3 61
3.5 54
4 150
4.5 39
5 85

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 151,441,972 books! | Top bar: Always visible