Washington Black / Esi Edugyan.
Booklist Reviews 2018 August #1
*Starred Review* ?The year 1830 finds 12-year-old George Washington ("Wash") Black enslaved on a sugar plantation in Barbados. His life changes dramatically when his master's younger brother, Titch, chooses him to assist with Titch's scientific experiments. When an innocent Wash is in danger of being charged with a death, he and Titch flee in a hot-air balloon of Titch's design. The balloon comes to ruin, but the two survive to journey to the Arctic, where they hope to determine if Titch's renowned scientist father is still alive. It is there that Titch abandons Wash. The boy, by now 13 and a gifted artist, makes his way to Nova Scotia where he meets the daughter of an eminent zoologist. The three journey to London where Wash begins to make it his business to find Titch, if he is still alive. There is something ineffable about Wash's subsequent search, just as there is a wonderful strangeness to the story, which Wash tells in his own eloquent and even aphoristic voice ("Nothing is possible until it is made so"). The story is memorable not only in its voice but also in its evocation of the horrors of slavery; and it is brilliant, too, in its construction of character. Wash and Titch are so alive as to be unforgettable, as is the story of their tangled relationship. This important novel from the author of the superb Half-Blood Blues (2012) belongs in every library. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2018 April #2
Working in the sticky heat of the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born, 11-year-old field slave Washington Black is terrified when he's made manservant to his master's offbeat brother. But naturalist/explorer Wilde, or "Titch," eagerly introduces Wash to a brave new world and protects him when a bounty is placed on his head, as they flee north along America's Atlantic coast to the chilly Arctic. But in their world, can friendship last? From the author of the international best seller
LJ Reviews 2018 September #1
Much has been written recently about the vulnerability of the black body; think of the essays of Ta-Nehisi Coates or Roxane Gay. Canadian author Edugyan probes this subject through a remarkable coming-of-age story. Enslaved on a sugar plantation in Barbados, young George Washington Black lives a life so circumscribed that he's not even allowed to end it. Rescued from back-breaking work in the fields by amateur scientist Christopher "Titch" Wilde, nephew of the estate owner, Washington Black is schooled in math, English, and astronomy, discovering a penchant for illustration. For the next decade, he will wonder why he was chosen. Why, after they flee the island and at each stop along their picaresque journey to Virginia and on to an Arctic outpost, does Titch try to detach from the weight of Wash's need? Though physically free, Wash is never comfortable in his own black skin, and though he achieves a modicum of happiness, he will always be shackled to his past until he can fully understand it.
PW Reviews 2018 July #2
Edugyan's magnificent third novel (after