Review: Washington Black
This Giller Prize-winning novel takes the reader and main character on quite a journey. Told in the first-person POV (my personal fav), Washington Black by Esi Edugyan is a coming-of-age story about a black slave named George Washington “Wash” Black, his escape from slavery and his travels and relationships into adulthood.
It is beautifully written. Edugyan’s wordsmithing is exquisite and enviable. The first half of Washington Black is adventure and excitement while the second half is more grown up and reflective. I preferred the adventurous half because it was fun but as Wash grows up and reflects on his past, his fun adventures don’t seem so fun. More superficial.
The book’s major themes come from putting too much faith in your idols rather than having confidence in yourself. It’s a little more “literary fiction” than I usually read but I enjoyed it very much.
The narration by Dion Graham was probably one of the best audiobook reading performances I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.
Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.