The Book of Negroes:  (U.S. Title: Someone Knows My Name)

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The Book of Negroes: (U.S. Title: Someone Knows My Name)

by Lawrence Hill

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd | October 4, 2007 | Trade Paperback

4.6258 out of 5 rating. 163 Reviews
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Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle-a string of slaves- Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic "Book of Negroes." This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.

Aminata''s eventual return to Sierra Leone-passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America-is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.18 in

Published: October 4, 2007

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554681561

ISBN - 13: 9781554681563

Found in: Fiction and Literature
This book tells the story of the life of Aminata Diallo, born in Bayo, West Africa, in 1745 who at the age of 11 is captured and sold into slavery. Detailing her struggles as a slave on a South Carolina plantation and her efforts to regain her freedom, the story is both harrowing and awe inspiring.

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– More About This Product –

The Book of Negroes:  (U.S. Title: Someone Knows My Name)

The Book of Negroes: (U.S. Title: Someone Knows My Name)

by Lawrence Hill

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.18 in

Published: October 4, 2007

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554681561

ISBN - 13: 9781554681563

Read from the Book

Lawrence Hill The Book of Negroes Excerpt And now I am old {London, 1802} I seem to have trouble dying. By all rights, I should not have lived this long. But I still can smell trouble riding on any wind, just as surely as I could tell you whether it is a stew of chicken necks or pigs' feet bubbling in the iron pot on the fire. And my ears still work just as good as a hound dog's. People assume that just because you don't stand as straight as a sapling, you're deaf. Or that your mind is like pumpkin mush. The other day, when I was being led into a meeting with a bishop, one of the society ladies told another, "We must get this woman into Parliament soon. Who knows how much longer she'll be with us?" Half bent though I was, I dug my fingers into her ribs. She let out a shriek and spun around to face me. "Careful," I told her, "I may outlast you!" There must be a reason why I have lived in all these lands, survived all those water crossings, while others fell from bullets or shut their eyes and simply willed their lives to end. In the earliest days, when I was free and knew nothing other, I used to sneak outside our walled compound, climb straight up the acacia tree while balancing Father's Qur'an on my head, sit way out on a branch and wonder how I might one day unlock all the mysteries contained in the book. Feet swinging beneath me, I would put down the book – the only one I had ever seen in Bayo – and look out at the patchwork of mud walls and thatched coverings.
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From the Publisher

Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle-a string of slaves- Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic "Book of Negroes." This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.

Aminata''s eventual return to Sierra Leone-passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America-is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.

About the Author

Lawrence Hill is the author of the novels Any Known Blood and Some Great Thing, and the non-fiction work Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. He also co-authored, with Joshua Key, The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.

From the Author

Interview with Lawrence Hill Excerpted from the forthcoming P.S. material in the Perennial edition of his bestselling novel, The Book of Negroes , Lawrence Hill was kind enough to answer a few questions about his inspiration for the book and what it was like to write from a woman's perspective. HarperPerennial: When did you first come across the ledger called the Book of Negroes, and did you know immediately that you would write about it? Lawrence Hill: I first heard about the Book of Negroes in 1980 when I read The Black Loyalists, a scholarly book by Canadian historian James Walker. Even before I wrote my first novel, Some Great Thing, which was published in 1992, I knew that one day I would write the fictional story of a woman who had to have her name entered into the Book of Negroes. It wasn't until I began to research and write the novel in 2002, however, that I examined reproductions of the actual ledger. The research and writing took about five years. HarperPerennial: How did you know when you'd researched "enough"? Did you ever feel overwhelmed by the weight of the history you were trying to capture in the novel? Lawrence Hill: Completely. I had to assimilate and then play with the history in so many locations-Mali, the South Carolina sea islands, Charleston, Manhattan, Nova Scotia, Sierra Leone, and London. It felt as though I was writing several novels in one. Research is captivating, but it also serves itself up as the quintessential avoidance strategy. "How did yo
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From Our Editors

Published as as Someone Knows My Name in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
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