> Skip to content

‘A gripping lyric exploration of the life of Whitechapel, a slave on an 18th century Virginia plantation… a brilliant – and beautiful – achievement.’ Independent on Sunday

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.

Aida Edemariam, The Guardian (London)

D'Aguiar marks his accomplished arrival as a novelist with this compelling and compassionate work

Sean Coughlan, The Times

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

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

This deceptively simple book resonates long after it is finished

Paula Burnett, New Statesman and Society

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    September 8, 1995


    144 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 16, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Fred D'aguiar

Airy Hall
Mama Dot
Bethany Bettany
Bill Of Rights


The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Beauty in Thorns
Tiger Men
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Echo Burning
Memoirs Of A Geisha
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Girl on the Train
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Golden Age
The Golden House
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
Life After Life
The Mistress