Special Order - Subject to Availability
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2/2013
Emily K's Staff Pick (May 2013): Simple, profound, disturbing. Wash tells the intertwined stories of Washington, a man held in slavery as a breeding sire in early-nineteenth-century Tennessee; Richardson, a debt-laden war veteran and Wash’s owner; and Pallas, a midwife and healer enslaved on a nearby plantation. There is a prevailing element of African spirituality in the narratives of Wash and Pallas; Wash, for example, has internalized the spiritual lessons his mother shared with him as a child. He draws on that strength in order to transcend the sexual degradation, brutality, and dehumanization that Richardson in particular, and society in general, impose on him.
I enjoyed reading Wash and want to share it with others because it tells an important story that will complicate readers’ understanding of American slavery.