Esi Edugyan, a Ten Evenings Author Presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures

Prize-winning novelist Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black is an epic adventure about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a man of the world. Named a 10 Best Books of 2018 by the New York Times, this “lush, exhilarating travelogue reminiscent of Jules Verne” (New Yorker) asks, what is true freedom?

George Washington Black, or “Wash,” an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master’s brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry 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 and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, Christopher and Wash must abandon everything.

Esi Edugyan is the author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. She won the Giller Prize a second time for Washington Black, which was also a finalist for the Man Booker prize and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.