Up Close and Personal with Lawrence Hill

February 2, 2010

Up Close and Personal with Lawrence Hill

Gatineau (Québec), February 1st, 2010 — In conjunction with the Black History Month, the Canadian Museum of Civilization invites you to get Up Close and Personal with Lawrence Hill, author of award -winning book, The Book of Negroes.

Following, a reading from his award-winning book, The Book of Negroes, sit in on a conversation between Canadian author Lawrence Hill and special guest Adrian Harewood, host of CBC News: Ottawa Late Night. Join them for an intimate interview that will be followed by a book signing.

Mr. Hill is the author of seven books. His latest novel, The Book of Negroes, was published around the world. It became a national bestseller and won various awards including Canada Reads, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Son of a black father and a white mother, Lawrence Hill grew up in Toronto in the Sixties. Influenced by his parents’ work in the human rights movement, much of his writing touches on issues of identity and belonging. He now lives in Hamilton with his wife and five children.

Up Close and Personal
Meet Lawrence Hill, author of the Book of Negroes
Wednesday, February 10, 7 p.m. – Theatre
$20, $15 Members – English with bilingual question-and-answer period

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.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own. Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone – passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America – is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey.

The Book of Negroes is a masterpiece, daring and impressive in its geographic, historical and human reach, convincing in its narrative art and detail, necessary for imagining the real beyond the traces left by history.”
The Globe and Mail

“Aminata is a heroic figure, a little larger than life, residing within and outside of history. You can never forget this character. She embeds herself in your heart.”
The Toronto Star

“Hill’s engaging narrator and the scope of her trajectory make this novel a truly compelling read. It is, however, Hill’s ability to observe the multi-faceted issue of race with sensitivity, compassion and a keen sense of justice, that makes 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

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civ