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Washington Black: A novel de Esi Edugyan
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Washington Black: A novel (edição: 2018)

de Esi Edugyan (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,507968,908 (3.93)210
Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life.… (mais)
Membro:jorgexma
Título:Washington Black: A novel
Autores:Esi Edugyan (Autor)
Informação:Knopf (2018), Edition: 1st, 352 pages
Coleções:Lista de desejos
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:canlit, fiction

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Washington Black de Esi Edugyan

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» Veja também 210 menções

Inglês (95)  Alemão (1)  Todos os idiomas (96)
Mostrando 1-5 de 96 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
K slave in arctic, briain, barbados. pub & read 2019
  18cran | Jun 7, 2021 |
This book explores the complications of freedom in a hostile world. Freedom from slavery and oppression are obviously highly desirable, and Edugyan shows how destructive plantation slavery was. The everyday fear of brutal punishment for not working well enough or for talking back undermines the slaves’ consciousness and sense of identity. They are treated as objects and don’t even know their parents. When Washington is brought into the owner’s house, he spends his first days fearful because he doesn’t know what is expected of him or how to avoid punishment.
But Edugyan’s characters find that escaping from slavery brings complications of a different kind. First is the fear of being re-taken. The escaped slave, Washington, and his white liberator, Titch, imaginatively escape to Virginia, a slave-owning state where they have to pretend to be master and servant to avoid bounty hunters. They find a very sketchy escape route to Canada, but Washington chooses to sail north with Titch to find Titch’s eccentric father in the Arctic. He prefers the risk of staying with his friend over the potential of an unknown freedom in Canada. Eventually he ends up in Nova Scotia, where he finds the Black community surviving in poverty almost as marginal as on the slave farm. When he is able to return to his interest in art and science, he comes to realize that Titch and his patron in science don’t really appreciate him for himself, but more as an instrument who can advance their own projects. He even comes to question his relationship to the woman he loves when she allows her father to take credit for his work. Finally, he finds, he has to go out into a stormy world entirely on his own in order to be free of the limitations of friendship and emotion.
This is a difficult path, and Edugyan does not intend to say that the challenges of freedom are in any way parallel to the horrific conditions of slavery that she depicts. Only when Washington is free is he able to express himself and his own interests. But freedom does not rid the world of racism, poverty and exploitation. In fact, when the slaves are freed on the British island of Barbados, they don’t have any economic options except to continue working on the plantations in near-starvation conditions.
In a kind of reversal, Edugyan shows the complications of slave ownership as well. Titch and his brother hate managing a slave plantation. They don’t seem to be brutal in themselves, but they think that brutality is the only tool they have to manage their slaves. Titch says that he would abandon the plantation, but his brother says that they have no choice because without the plantation their family would be reduced to poverty. And they are right – without fear, the slaves would revolt or simply walk away, and the family would lose its wealth and privilege. As Hegel wrote, the slaveowner becomes a slave to the institution, and without revolution neither slave nor owner can be free.
It’s interesting that Washington’s interest is in the science of marine biology. The scene describing his experience with an early diving suit is amazing, especially when he has a kind of underwater dance with an octopus. The octopus is able to change colour to match its environment, but Washington has to go to extraordinary and dangerous lengths to survive in a foreign environment. It’s a memorable image, and an apt metaphor for Washington’s survival in the world. Washington has to create a new state of being, a world of creativity and freedom, but this will be a difficult and painful task. ( )
  rab1953 | May 11, 2021 |
Esi Edugyan's prose is poetic and engaging.
Why not 5 stars? I am not sure, but I never quite engage with it. Maybe is the eternal problem of having my expectations built too high. I still highly recommend it. ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
The book felt just slightly off-kilter to me— it felt like it either needed to be 1) slower and longer, so that each episode of Wash’s story felt full and plausible, and we could concentrate on his observations and development as a person or 2) a bit zanier with more of a magical realism or historical fantasy type feel, so that the constant vaunting all over the globe could feel more intentionally impossible and various. Or maybe even both.

As it was, we got an rich and heavy first section where Wash felt immersed in his locale and surroundings, and then (especially in sections 2 and 4) a zipping journey around from place to totally disparate place and character to larger-than-life character, all in an improbably short number of years. There were many things tying the two sections together, including Edugyan’s lovely open and readable style, and Wash’s distinct voice, but overall there still felt like a bit of a mismatch.

All that said, I definitely LIKED all the different parts of the story, each for different reasons, and I quite enjoyed reading the book, which kept me hooked the whole time. I just would also have liked to see an even more fleshed-out story that was even more willing to dip into the strange and improbable. A bit more Rushdie-ish, if you will. I would especially have loved to learn more about Mr. Wilde’s and Mr. Haas’s arctic life (and Titch’s otherworldly experience there) and also more about the details and paraphernalia of the marine life, both in Nova Scotia and the London aquarium. I was also surprised there wasn’t more balloon (sorry, Cloud-Cutter) action, given the cover.

The episode with Farrow, the arm, and the door in the grave, had a perfect dreamlike quality, similar to the very end of the book in Morocco— those two sections I think are the ones that will most stick with me. ( )
  scoutmaria | Apr 5, 2021 |
This book seemed very promising early on, and I did like it on the whole, but it wasn't ultimately as good as I had hoped given its early promise. I suppose I wasn't necessarily supposed to receive it as an entirely plausible story, but some of the implausibilities (e.g. how cultured a man of the world the narrator seemed to become within limited actual experience out in the world) and anachronisms bothered me enough to make the history given in the book feel a little sloppy. It's possible that the author presented the story in this way intentionally -- the very institution of slavery and all its aftermath being sort of mind-bogglingly implausible -- but in any case, I didn't love it in the end. I'd read more by Edugyan, though; the writing itself was pleasant and the story of interest if not ultimately satisfying. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 96 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The reader can almost see what is coming. Since Barbados was under British rule, slavery was abolished there in 1834. This, then, could be a novel about the last days of the cruelty, about what happens to a slave-owning family and to the slaves during the waning of the old dispensation.

The Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan has other ideas, however. She is determined that the fate of Washington Black will not be dictated by history, that the novel instead will give him permission to soar above his circumstances and live a life that has been shaped by his imagination, his intelligence and his rich sensibility....Edugyan is willing to take great risks to release the reader from any easy or predictable interpretations of Washington. She is not afraid to allow him to have thoughts and knowledge that seem oddly beyond his command. That is part of his ambiguous power in the book, the idea that, owing to his unusual quickness and subtlety of mind, Washington can be trusted to know more than he should
 
Washington Black opens on a 19th-century sugar plantation in Barbados and launches into the horrors of that experience from the child’s-eye view of the eponymous Washington Black, an 11-year-old slave. But it would be a mistake to think that Esi Edugyan’s Man Booker-longlisted third book is an earnest story of colonial slavery....it is clear that Edugyan is coming at her subject sideways, not with gritty realism but with fabular edges, and as much concerned with the nature of freedom as with slavery, both for her white characters and black....The beauty here lies in Edugyan’s language, which is precise, vivid, always concerned with wordcraft and captivating for it...It’s not what readers who are wedded to realism might want, but Edugyan’s fiction always stays strong, beautiful and beguiling.
 

» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Edugyan, Esiautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Burdeny, DaveArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dyer, PeterDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Graham, DionNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hansen, JanetDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Paassen, Catalien vanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pappas, Cassandra J.Designerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Read, AlexandraArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wilson, JoeArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life.

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