The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes : Commonwealth Prize Winner

4.45 (61,618 ratings by Goodreads)
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Abducted from her West African village at the age of eleven and sold as a slave in the American South, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom - and of finding her way home again. After escaping the plantation, torn from her husband and child, she passes through Manhattan in the chaos of the Revolutionary War, is shipped to Nova Scotia, and then joins a group of freed slaves on a harrowing return odyssey to Africa.

Based on a true story, Lawrence Hill's epic novel spans three continents and six decades to bring to life a dark and shameful chapter in our history through the story of one brave and resourceful woman.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 32mm | 346g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552775487
  • 9780552775489
  • 76,942

Review Text

"Hill's novel is a beautiful, compelling artifice, spun from unspeakably savage facts.... a fiction that faces the terrible truth about slavery"
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Review quote

"Hill's novel is a beautiful, compelling artifice, spun from unspeakably savage facts.... a fiction that faces the terrible truth about slavery" * The Times * "A colossal achievement... heartrending yet inspiring" * Independent on Sunday * "The ebb and flow of Aminata's fortunes is gripping stuff, with the horrors inflicted upon her and her people brought to life almost matter-of-factly - and all the more enraging for that" * Daily Mail * "Richly meticulous recreation of late 18th century slave life... in its grand historical sweep, The Book of Negroes succeeds admirably in giving voice to a captive people who were for so long kept mute" -- Stephen Amidon * The Sunday Times * "Wears its thorough research lightly... fitting that this ambitious revision of slave narratives should have won the overall Commonwealth Writers' Prize in the year that the American electorate demolished one of its most persistent categories of exclusion" * Independent *
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About Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill was born in Ontario, Canada of a black father and a white mother. He is the author of a memoir, Black Berry, Sweet Juice, a work of non-fiction, The Deserter's Tale, and two other novels. His third novel, The Book of Negroes (published in the US as Somebody Knows My Name) was a no.1 bestseller in Canada, and won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book.
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Rating details

61,618 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 58% (35,453)
4 32% (20,015)
3 8% (4,961)
2 1% (822)
1 1% (367)

Our customer reviews

The Book of Negroes is bursting with the stories of thousands of lost women, children, and men. It is not the story of one woman only, though it is told by a former slave close to the end of her life. Torn from her village and her murdered parents as a child, Aminata's taken to America by boat and sold to the owner of a plantation. Her emotional wounds are made all the worse when a few years later, her child is stolen from her in the night and sold. Later, even after she has escaped slavery, her second child and her husband are lost to her. However, she perseveres and prevails, giving new meaning to the word survival. Throughout, the reader drowns in the darkness of the tale and is disgusted by the way humans treat other humans. We ask ourselves how anyone can enslave another person, beat them, work them to the bone, rape them, and sell them at will. This book gives the voiceless voices and gives the guilty conscience. I can't imagine a reader who has walked away, after reading the last page of The Book of Negroes, more
by Teresa Johnson
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