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  • Published: 20 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141917573
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

Blonde Roots

From the Booker prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other

A dazzlingly imaginative reversal of the slave trade, in which the Africans are the masters and the Europeans the slaves

Welcome to a world turned upside down. One minute, Doris is playing hide-and-seek with her sisters in the fields behind their cottage. The next, someone puts a bag over her head and she ends up in the hold of a slave ship sailing to the New World.

When she finally arrives on a strange tropical island, Doris discovers that she is, in fact, a pig-ugly savage with a brain the size of a pea, whose only purpose in life is to please her mistress. While experiencing the hardships of life in the sugarcane fields, she dreams of escape, of finding those she has loved and lost, and of returning home to her motherland, England . . .

  • Published: 20 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141917573
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the author

Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of Lara, winner of the Emma Best Book Award in 1999, The Emperor's Babe and Soul Tourists. She is a former Poet in Residence at the Museum of London, and her work has been widely anthologized. She won a prestigious Arts Council Writers Award in 2000.

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Praise for Blonde Roots

A phenomenal book. It is so ingenious and so novel. Think The Handmaid's Tale meets Noughts and Crosses with a bit of Jonathan Swift and Lewis Carroll thrown in. This should be thought of as a feminist classic.

Women's Prize for Fiction Podcast

A hugely imaginative tale that invites important debates, challenging fundamental perceptions of race, culture and history

Independent on Sunday

This brilliant novel will fulfil [Evaristo's] purpose of making readers view the transatlantic slave trade with fresh eyes

The Times

Reimagines past and present with refreshing humour and intelligence . . . human and real


[Blonde Roots] is a powerful gesture of fearless thematic ownership by one of the UK's most unusual and challenging writers


As with a Swiftean satire, Evaristo's novel is powerful not for its fantastical elements but for its ability to bring home the horror of historical events

Financial Times

Evaristo remains an undeniably bold and energetic writer, whose world-view is anything but one-dimensional

Sunday Times

One of Britain's most innovative authors . . . Bernardine Evaristo always dares to be different

New Nation

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