Written in taut, poetic language, THE LONGEST MEMORY is set on a Virginian plantation in the 19th century, and tells the tragic story of a rebellious, fiercely intelligent young slave who breaks all the rules: in learning to read and write, in falling in love with a white girl, the daughter of his owner, and, finally, in trying to escape and join her in the free North. For his attempt to flee, he is whipped to death in front of his family, and this brutal event is the pivot around which the story evolves.
A haunting novel whose brevity and directness belie the depths of tragedy it plumbs.
D'Aguiar marks his accomplished arrival as a novelist with this compelling and compassionate work
A short book that speaks volumes about slavery... Keeping his page taut with compression and compassion, D'Aguiar makes The Longest Memory hard to forget
This deceptively simple book resonates long after it is finished