Hoorah! The book we've been shouting about since the manuscript came into our hands, Esi Edugyan's incredible Washington Black, is on the Man Booker Prize longlist!

We couldn't be more thrilled that this epic, page-turning and breathtakingly beautiful novel has been chosen as one of the thirteen on this year's longlist. Huge congratulations to Esi and to all the authors on the list.

Esi said, "What an utterly unexpected and delightful honour to be on this list! My congratulations to my fellow nominees." Hear, hear!

The judges said: "“A dazzling exploration of race in the Atlantic world, which also manages to be a yarn and a chase story. A book of extraordinary political and racial scope, Washington Black is wonderfully written, extremely imaginative, profoundly engaging and filled with an empathetic understanding of characters who are uprooted from places they knew and required to make adjustments in worlds they could barely have dreamt of. It manages to keep you on the edge of your seat, while making you, as a reader, want to savour every moment.”

Read the first chapter

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About the book

Escape is only the beginning...

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of these men. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist, whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him.

Titch's idealistic plans are soon shattered and Washington finds himself in mortal danger. They escape the island together, but then then Titch disappears and Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible.

From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy wastes of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness and mystery of life. Inspired by a true story, Washington Black is the extraordinary tale of a world destroyed and made whole again.