The New York Times

Airborne

“Washington Black”

By Esi Edugyan

334 pages. Alfred A. Knopf. $26.95

When the novel “Washington Black” opens, it is 1830 and the young George Washington Black, who narrates his own story, is a slave on a Barbados sugar plantation called Faith, protected, or at least watched over, by an older woman, Big Kit. As a new master takes charge, the fear is palpable. The accounts of murders and punishments and random cruelties are chilling and unsparing. Big Kit can see no way out except death: “Death was a door. I think that is what she wished me to understand. She did not fear it. She was of an ancient faith rooted in the high river lands of Africa, and in that faith the dead were reborn, whole, back in their

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times5 min readPsychology
Becoming a Digital Grandparent
When it comes to warnings about limiting kids’ screen time, grandparents are, well, grandfathered in. Emerging from a theater on a recent Sunday, I turned on my phone and found a flurry of texts from my daughter. My 2-year-old granddaughter had just
The New York Times6 min readScience
Intermittent Fasting Made My Life Easier, and Happier
I could eat the foods I enjoyed and most of my regular meals, but it had to be within a short time frame of eight to 10 hours. At the urging of doctor friends and a few popular books, I embarked on a diet plan earlier this year called intermittent fa
The New York Times4 min read
6 Simple Barre Stretches to Try on Vacation
No matter where you are in the world, you can always find something to lean on so you can stretch your muscles. Traveling — even for fun — can be tough on our bodies. Hours spent in airline seats, heavy meals and long stretches of touristy walking or