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OBOC 2020

One Book, One College 2020 Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

2020 Title Selection

Washington Black Eleven-year-old George Washington Black—or Wash—a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning, and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human.
But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Over the course of their travels, what brings Wash and Christopher together will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.

About the Author

From Penguin Random House: Esi Edugyan is a Canadian author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Her third novel, Washington Black, won the Giller Prize in November 2018. Esi Edugyan is only the third author to ever win the award twice. Edugyan studied Creative Writing at the University of Victoria and received a Master's degree from John Hopkins Writing Seminars.






An Interview with Esi Edugyan

Check out this interview with Esi Edugyan, where she discusses her novels Washington Black and Half-Blood Blues.



The silencing of black scientists: An essay by Esi Edugyan

About OBOC

Each year, students, faculty, staff and administrators select and read a common book and many instructors incorporate the "College Book" into their courses. This year, the selected book is Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. The One Book, One College Committee holds a series of free events to encourage college wide conversation, creativity and community surrounding the book. This can include film screenings, food tastings, guest speakers, faculty lectures, family programming, marathon book readings, essay contests, dialogues, live performances, blogs, art exhibitions, forays into the local community and much, much more. Keep a look out for upcoming events for OBOC!