Someone Knows My Name: A Novel (Paperback)

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(Norton)Taking as his premise the little-known history of Royalist black settlers to whom the British granted freedom in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution, Hill has crafted a compelling novel around an extraordinary heroine whose life odyssey speaks for the experiences of many. Through vivid, fascinating detail that reflects devoted research in addition to a great gift for writing, we follow Aminata Diallo from her African village to capture, enslavement and the Middle Passage; her work on a South Carolina indigo plantation and as a servant in Charleston; her service for the British Army in Manhattan; her hardships in Canada; a return to Africa and an experimental settlement in Sierra Leone; and finally her life as a darling of London abolitionists. In addition to being a great read, Aminata’s engaging story of survival and triumph, steeped in history as well as abiding patterns of human existence, throws a unique and necessary light on the enduring global issue of race. ~ John

— From John

Description


Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. "Wonderfully written...populated by vivid characters and rendered in fascinating detail." —Nancy Kline, New York Times Book Review


Kidnapped from Africa as a child, Aminata Diallo is enslaved in South Carolina but escapes during the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan she becomes a scribe for the British, recording the names of blacks who have served the King and earned their freedom in Nova Scotia. But the hardship and prejudice of the new colony prompt her to follow her heart back to Africa, then on to London, where she bears witness to the injustices of slavery and its toll on her life and a whole people. It is a story that no listener, and no reader, will ever forget.


Published in Canada as The Book of Negroes and the basis for the award-winning BET miniseries of the same name.



About the Author


Lawrence Hill is the author of several novels including Someone Knows My Name, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was nominated in the United States for the Huston Wright Legacy Award. In 2015 Hill was appointed to the Order of Canada “for his contributions as an author and activist who tells the stories of Canada’s black community and of women and girls in Africa.” A graduate of the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, he lives in Ontario, Canada.

Praise For…


Hill's depiction of [Aminata's] journey to freedom is a powerful tale of pride and perseverance.
— Sara Nelson

A masterpiece, daring and impressive in its geographic, historical and human reach.

Lawrence Hill's hugely impressive historical work is completely engrossing and deserves a wide, international readership.
— Delia Jarrett-Macauley

With grace and compassion, Hill populates true and harrowing experience with an authentic hero—just as good historical fiction requires.
— Jennifer Berman

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. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Someone Knows My Name lets readers experience a life, one footstep at a time, beside an unforgettable protagonist.

— Eileen Charbonneau

Stunning, wrenching and inspiring.... Hill handles the pacing and tension masterfully... [his] book is a harrowing, breathing tour de force.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393333091
ISBN-10: 0393333094
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: November 17th, 2008
Pages: 512
Language: English