Washing Black was just awarded Canada’s Giller Prize and is one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018. It is the story of George Washington Black, born a slave on Faith Plantation in Barbados in 1819 yet he ends up living a rather extraordinary life. Although the master of the plantation is cruel and sadistic, “Wash” is chosen by the master’s brother, Titch, to help launch a balloon. Coincidentally, Wash has a talent for numbers as well as drawing. His skills and his friendship with Titch take him to the Arctic Circle, Virginia, London, Amsterdam and Morocco. He is forced during his travels to keep his eyes wide open at all times, looking out for a bounty hunter who is eager to capture Wash and return him to Barbados.
While the plot of Washington Black is pretty preposterous, I have to admit I enjoyed Edugyan’s novel, and eagerly looked forward to discovering where and with who Wash would end up.