Washington Black by Esi Edugyan is a nicely written adventure novel of ideas about how to understand the history of slavery, the human stain, through examining the lives of particular people involved in the peculiar institution. Some horrific descriptions, and then a nice tour through the mid 1800s…. A great novel for a young adult interested in history. A little bit of magical realism, but not much: the cover art actually suggests more than is there. Here is a nice review from The New Yorker. The prose is fine. Not as impressively original as Hilary Mantel but the consistency in maintaining the style Edugyan adopted is quite good.
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