Esi Edugyan

Esi Edugyan was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and studied creative writing at the University of Victoria. She is author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne which was shortlisted for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, 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 Prize, and the Orange Prize. In 2014, she published her first book of non-fiction, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home. Her most recent novel, Washington Black, will be released in September 2018. Esi lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and two children.

CBC Interview

Washington Black


When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black, an eleven-year-old field slave, is terrified to be chosen as manservant to one of these men. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, an explorer, an inventor and an abolitionist. Soon, Washington is initiated into a world 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 Washington’s head, Wilde must choose between family bonds and Washington’s life. Read more.