Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom―and of the knowledge, she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public.
This captivating story of one woman's remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.
Hill is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction. In 2005, he won his first literary honour: a National Magazine Award for the article “Is Africa’s Pain Black America’s Burden?” published in The Walrus. His first two novels were Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood, and his first non-fiction work to attract national attention was the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. But it was his third novel, The Book of Negroes (HarperCollins Canada, 2007) — published in some countries as Someone Knows My Name and in French as Aminata — that attracted widespread attention in Canada and other countries.
Lawrence Hill’s non-fiction book, Blood: The Stuff of Life was published in September 2013 by House of Anansi Press. Blood is a personal consideration of the physical, social, cultural and psychological aspects of blood, and how it defines, unites and divides us. Hill drew from the book to deliver the 2013 Massey Lectures across Canada.
In 2013, Hill published the essay Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book: An Anatomy of a Book Burning (University of Alberta Press).
His fourth novel, The Illegal, was published by HarperCollins Canada in 2015 and by WW Norton in the USA in 2016.
Hill is currently writing a new novel and a children’s book, and co-writing a television miniseries adaptation of The Illegal for Conquering Lion Pictures. Hill is a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph, in Ontario.