The Book of Negroes
is a 2007 novel by Lawrence Hill
about a young African girl named Aminata who is taken as a slave and her struggle for freedom.
Released in several countries (including the United States) under the title Someone Knows My Name
, because apparently publishers were hesitant about releasing a book with the word "Negro" in the title.
Tropes used in this book:
- The American Revolution - It's not central to the plot, but it does happen during the book.
- Anti-Villain: Solomon Lindo is a Type IV. Aminata acknowledges that he is a good man at heart, but he can't see that the system of slavery corrupts him for as long as he participates in it.
- Anyone Can Die - Except for Aminata, of course.
- Cursed with Awesome / Blessed with Suck: Aminata often points out that her attractiveness was more of a curse than a blessing.
- Deadpan Snarker: Aminata. Sometimes circumstances make her a Servile Snarker.
- Deus Angst Machina
- Diabolus ex Machina - So many times.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Hannibal Lecture: A slave trader in Sierra Leone gives one to Aminata near the end.
Armstrong: Has the colony of Freetown produced a single export? Where is the sugar cane? Where is the Coffee? Are you exporting boatloads of elephant teeth or camwood? You're not even growing corn, or rice. You have no farms under cultivation. You aren't even self-sufficient. There is no profit in benevolence, none. The colony in Freetown is child's play, financed by the deep pockets of rich abolitionists who don't know a thing about Africa.
- Heel-Face Turn: Solomon Lindo ends up pulling one of these when he comes to New York at the end of the war just to give Aminata her freedom and defend her from Appleby.
- I Will Wait for You - Aminata does this no fewer than three times for Chekura. The third time, he turns out to be dead.
- Market-Based Title - Someone Knows My Name in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
- Made a Slave
- Politically Correct History: Averted on both sides. Neither white or black society is shown in a rosy light.
- Plucky Girl - Aminata
- Rape as Drama
- The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: Averted. The revolution is shown as very much a case of Grey and Grey Morality with both sides selfish and hypocritical for all that they have some good points.
- Title Drop - "It will be called the Book of Negroes." Also an example of Aluminum Christmas Trees: the "Book of Negroes" was a real document, which listed the thousands of slaves who were evacuated during the war.
- The U.S. title is also used in dialogue, but in a rather unimportant conversation early in the book.