"Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black compels with a dramatic force that makes this novel a page-turner. Born into slavery on a Barbados plantation in 1818, George Washington Black endures in a volatile world that works not only to brutally stifle his natural artistic and scientific talents, but his daunting search for emotional freedom. Edugyan skillfully navigates the often-formidable space between history and modern storytelling to leave readers with an intelligent and engaging novel that is relevant and necessary today. Ultimately it is her young hero’s awakening amidst overwhelming obstacles that will inspire the reader’s heart, and merit this work for lasting recognition."
— 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Ann Y.K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, Robert Wiersema)