The Water Dancer
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The Water Dancer

4.13 (17,816 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

THE NEW YORK TIMES #1 BESTSELLER

!! FIRST OPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK 2019 !!

'One of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. I haven't felt this way since I first read Beloved . . .' Oprah Winfrey

The unmissable debut novel by the critically acclaimed author of Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power - a richly imagined and compulsively page-turning journey to freedom

Hiram Walker is born into bondage on a Virginia plantation. But he is also born gifted with a mysterious power that he won't discover until he is almost a man, when he risks everything for a chance to escape. One fateful decision will carry him away from his makeshift plantation family - his adoptive mother, Thena, a woman of few words and many secrets, and his beloved, angry Sophia - and into the covert heart of the underground war on slavery.

Hidden amidst the corrupt grandeur of white plantation society, exiled as guerrilla cells in the wilderness, buried in the coffin of the deep South and agitating for utopian ideals in the North, there exists a widespread network of secret agents working to liberate the enslaved. Hiram joins their ranks and learns fast but in his heart he yearns to return to his own still-enslaved family, to topple the plantation that was his first home. But to do so, he must first master his unique power and reclaim the story of his greatest loss.

Propulsive, transcendent and blazing with truth, The Water Dancer is a story of oppression and resistance, separation and homecoming. Ta-Nehisi Coates imagines the covert war of an enslaved people in response to a generations-long human atrocity - a war for the right to life, to kin, to freedom.

'I was enthralled, I was devastated. I felt hope, I felt gratitude, I felt joy... [Ta-Nehisi Coates] is a magnificent writer' Oprah Winfrey
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 37mm | 685g
  • Hamish Hamilton Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241325250
  • 9780241325254
  • 87,391

Review quote

Slavery, forgetting and memory are at the heart of Coates's ambitious, compelling first novel... * TLS * Ta-Nehisi Coates has emerged as an important public intellectual and perhaps America's most incisive thinker about race. * New York Times * This potent book about America's most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist. * San Francisco Chronicle * Beautiful prose and wonderful characters . . . an important book written by one of the great thinkers of our times. It's a thriller, a historical how-to, a love story and a warning. I read it one long night and the next day pressed it into everyone's hands. Brilliant. In prose that sings and imagination that soars, Coates further cements himself as one of this generation's most important writers, tackling one of America's oldest and darkest periods with grace and inventiveness. This is bold, dazzling, and not to be missed * Publisher's Weekly * Eagerly anticipated . . . The Water Dancer merges historical and fantasy fiction in a slavery story that Oprah Winfrey says is one of the best books she has read in her life. * Observer * An arresting story of fantastical power in the brutal world of human bondage . . . A transcendent, arresting work from a crucial political and literary artist -- Diana Evans A tale of slavery and mysterious power in this debut novel from one of America's most exciting young writers. * The Times * a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance . . . timeless and instantly canon-worthy. * Rolling Stone * a crowd-pleasing exercise in breakneck and often occult storytelling that tonally resembles the work of Stephen King as much as it does the work of Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead and the touchstone African-American science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. * New York Times * a remarkable story about inequality, slavery, memory, freedom and dignity. I found it important and universally relevant -- Elif Shafak * Guardian * One of the best books I have ever read in my entire life . . . I was enthralled, I was devastated. -- Oprah Winfrey
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About Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and the author of the Number One New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, winner of the National Book Award, and of the acclaimed essay collection We Were Eight Years in Power. A MacArthur Fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story 'The Case for Reparations'. He lives in New York with his wife and son.
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Rating details

17,816 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 40% (7,204)
4 38% (6,815)
3 17% (2,976)
2 3% (585)
1 1% (236)
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