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Current Fiction Book Club – Washington Black
February 6 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
ESI EDUGYAN is author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Orange Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
“Washington Black is that rarest of novels: a hybrid that knows exactly what it is. The story begins as an antebellum novel about Wash, an 11-year-old slave working on a Barbados plantation run by a sadistic master. When Christopher, the master’s brother, takes Wash under his wing and teaches him to read, the novel turns more toward adventure and scientific exploration. There are inventions, twists, and turns; there is danger and intrigue; there is travel and growth. What holds everything together is author Esi Edugyan’s writing chops. She is a precise writer who has created a world that seems whole and all-embracing. Her characters are fully realized human beings. The weight of personal freedom is a theme that winds through the book, as does the opposing weight of cultural and societal expectations. There is so much to digest here, and so much to enjoy, that readers may well be tempted to read this book twice.” –Chris Schluep