Someone Knows My Name:
by Lawrence Hill
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Historical fiction is the bastard child of the literary world. Too often the marriage of vivid characters, colorful locales, and actual events produces bodice rippers, romantic fodder dressed up in a well-researched package. It’s no doubt hard to pen a historical novel that doesn’t succumb to the sensational or get stuck in factual minutiae. But at its best, the genre can be an eye-opener, combining heroic characters and real-life drama, pushing fact through the sieve of illusion yet never losing sight of its ability to inform.
Case in point, Canadian writer Lawrence Hill’s expansive third novel, Someone Knows My Name—the American edition of the otherwise- (and more provocatively) titled Book of Negroes—which takes on the subject of slavery, as told through the eyes of one well-traveled African-born woman.
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