“There could be no belonging for a creature such as myself, anywhere; a disfigured black boy with a scientific turn of mind and a talent on canvas, running, always running, from the dimmest of shadows.”
It is no small feat for an author to win the Canadian Giller prize twice (only three have ever done so, and one of those was Margaret Atwood) and be short-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2018. Award winners are not always readable, but this one certainly is. An epic tale of a boy on the run, I have never read a slavery story quite like it. And I was so curious to find out why there was an octopus on the cover! This literary page turner is full of beautiful writing, delightful characters, interesting quests, and thoughtful reflections on humanity and the meaning of freedom.
When Washington Black, an eleven year old field slave is falsely implicated in a the murder of someone on the plantation, he must flee. His good fortune is having been recently chosen as a manservant to the owner’s eccentric brother, a naturalist, explorer, and abolitionist. Together the unlikely pair travel to the Arctic and beyond in search of adventure and invention.