Cover art for Washington Black

Washington Black

733 ratings

Summary

A dazzling, original novel of slavery and freedom, from the author of the international best seller Half-Blood Blues Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black - an 11-year-old field slave - is horrified to find himself chosen to live in the quarters of one of these men. But the man is not as Washington expects him to be. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde - naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist - whose obsession to perfect a winged flying machine disturbs all who know him. Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea is set alight with fields of jellyfish, where a simple cloth canopy can propel 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 one fateful night, Washington is left to the mercy of his new masters. Christopher Wilde must choose between family ties and young Washington's life. What follows is a flight along the eastern coast of America, as the men attempt to elude the bounty that has been placed on Washington's head. Their journey opens them up to the extraordinary: to a dark encounter with a necropsicist, a scholar of the flesh; to a voyage aboard a vessel captained by a hunter of a different kind; to a glimpse through an unexpected portal into the Underground Railroad. This is a novel of fraught bonds and betrayal. What brings Wilde and Washington together ultimately tears them apart, leaving Washington to seek his true self in a world that denies his very existence. From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy plains of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness of life. This inventive, electrifying novel asks, What is freedom? And can a life salvaged from the ashes ever be made whole?

©2018 Ides of March, Inc. (P)2018 Penguin Random House

Narrator: Dion Graham
Author: Esi Edugyan
Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Half-Blood Blues

Half-Blood Blues

3 ratings

Summary

Esi Edugyan won wide acclaim for her stunning novel Half-Blood Blues - a Man Booker Prize finalist and winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize. In it, 83-year-old Sid Griffiths remembers his time during WWII playing in a Berlin jazz band called the Hot Time Swingers. When jazz music was denounced by the Nazis, Sid and his bandmates fled to Paris - a move that put Hieronymous, the band's brilliantly talented trumpeter, in constant danger due to his Afro-German heritage.  "[A] brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed novel." (Globe and Mail)

©2011 Esi Edugyan (P)2011 W.F. Howes Ltd.

Narrator: Kyle Riley
Author: Esi Edugyan
Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Second Life of Samuel Tyne

The Second Life of Samuel Tyne

3 ratings

Summary

Haunting and atmospheric, this debut novel portrays the heartbreak, hardship, and moments of surprising grace in the life of a man struggling to realize his destiny. A young man of astonishing promise when he emigrated from Ghana in 1955, Samuel Tyne was determined to accomplish great things. Fifteen long years later, he’s an insignificant government employee who hates his job when he unexpectedly inherits his uncle’s crumbling mansion in Aster, Alberta. Despite his wife’s resistance and the sullen complaints of his 13-year-old twin daughters, Samuel quits his job and moves his family to the town. For here, he believes, is that fabled second chance, and he is determined not to fail again. At first, Aster seems perfect - to Samuel, the formerly all-black town represents the return to a communal, idyllic way of life. But he soon discovers the town’s problems: a history of in-fighting, a strict town council, and a series of mysterious fires that put all the townsfolk on edge. When his daughters cease speaking and refuse to explain their increasingly strange behavior, Samuel turns more and more to the refuge of his electronics shop. As his ambitions intensify, the life he has struggled so hard to improve begins to disintegrate around him, and a dark current of menace in the town is turned upon the Tyne family.

©2004 Esi Edugyan (P)2019 Penguin Random House Canada

Author: Esi Edugyan
Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Washington Black (German edition)

Washington Black (German edition)

Summary

Die Flucht ist nur der Anfang Barbados, 1830: Der schwarze Sklavenjunge Washington Black schuftet auf einer Zuckerrohrplantage unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen. Bis er zum Leibdiener Christopher Wildes auserwählt wird, dem Bruder des brutalen Plantagenbesitzers. Christopher ist Erfinder, Entdecker, Naturwissenschaftler - und Gegner der Sklaverei. Das ungleiche Paar entkommt in einem selbst gebauten Luftschiff von der Plantage. Es beginnt eine abenteuerliche Flucht, die die beiden um die halbe Welt führen wird. Eine Geschichte von Selbstfindung und Verrat, von Liebe und Erlösung. Und eine Geschichte über die Frage: Was bedeutet Freiheit?

©2019 Lübbe Audio (P)2019 Lübbe Audio

Author: Esi Edugyan
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
Available on Audible