The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes is a masterpiece…” The Globe and Mail


The Book of Negroes

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.”

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.

Published around the world, under various titles (The Book of Negroes, Someone Knows My Name and Aminata), the novel won the overall Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award, CBC Radio’s Canada Reads and Radio Canada’s Le combat des livres. An illustrated edition of the novel, with paintings and historical documents, is available from HarperCollins Canada. Lawrence Hill has co-written (along with director Clement Virgo) a six-part television miniseries based on The Book of Negroes, which will appear in early 2015 on CBC TV in Canada and on BET in the USA.


Read an excerpt.


“You can never forget this character. She embeds herself in your heart.” 
The Toronto Star

“Anna Karenina. Hagar Shipley. Aminata Diallo….the exclusive club that includes literature’s most memorable characters now has a remarkable new member.” 
The Calgary Herald

“…among the best in our fiction.” 
The Hamilton Spectator

The Book of Negroes not just a good book, but a great one — worthy of every honour it is sure to receive.” 
The Montreal Gazette

“Lawrence Hill’s hugely impressive historical work is completely engrossing and deserves a wide, international readership.” 
Washington Post

“…populated by vivid characters and rendered in fascinating detail.” 
The New York Times

“Astonishing in scope, humanity and beauty, this is one of those very rare novels in which the deep joy of reading transcends its time and place…” Editors’ Choice, Historical Novels Review

“Stunning, wrenching and inspiring…a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force.” 
Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“…a superb saga to get lost in…a deeply moving book of great finesse and nuance, impossible to put down…” 
The Sunday Telegraph

“such a fascinating and wonderfully realized character that accompanying her on her life journey is not only a pleasure but a privilege.” The Sunday Mail