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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Imagine if the transatlantic slave trade was reversed.

Imagine Africans the masters and Europeans their slaves....

Now meet young Doris, living in a sleepy English cottage. One day she is kidnapped and put aboard a slave ship bound for the New World. On a strange tropical island, Doris is told she is an ugly, stupid savage. Her only purpose in life is to please her mistress. Then, as personal assistant to Bwana, Chief Kaga Konata Katamba I, she sees the horrors of the sugarcane fields. Slaves are worked to death under the blazing sun. But though she lives in chains, Doris dreams of escape - of returning home to England and those she loves....

©2020 Bernardine Evaristo (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 bold and brilliant game of counterfactual history. Evaristo keep[s] her wit and anger at a spicy simmer throughout." (Daily Telegraph)

"So human and real. Re-imagines past and present with refreshing humour and intelligence." (Guardian

What listeners say about Blonde Roots

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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 24-12-20

A feat

It made me laugh and cringe, and it didn't let me look away. Superb narration.

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  • Taralouise
  • 30-03-21

Brilliant reversal of historical events

If you are reading this you are probably aware that Bernadine Evaristo reimagines a world where it is the technologies of people of colour, located in the Africa continent, where the evolutionary story begins, as she constructs people from that continent as superior to all the other so-called races and it is whyte people, originating from the continent of Europe, who are at the bottom of the evolutionary pile. This means of course that white readers get a taste of enslavement from the perspective of the whyte people from Europa and, in that respect, Evaristo pulls no punches in her detailed descriptions of life on a slave ship and on the plantations.
This is a very creative and clever reversal of historical events and Evaristo goes a long way towards convincing us that the world is very different to the one In which we are currently living. It feels as if a simple geographical twist of fate is what enables the huge shift in the evolution of humankind. Some of the most chilling chapters are the ones in the centre of the book, where the whole horror of scientific racism is reimagined as a process whereby blak people are placed at the top of the evolutionary cycle and whyte people at the bottom, through a whole process of measurement and so-called anthropometrics. It’s a very scary reminder of the scientific racism of the 19th and 20th centuries and every so-called scientist should be forced to read this book, as should every schoolchild, both in Europe and in the United States. This book is an excellent introduction to the horrors of the enslavement of millions of humans, especially if you have bothered to read about these histories is before.

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  • Kitty
  • 29-07-20

Blonde Roots

A fascinating flip on a “what might have been” historical narrative of the enslaved experience; And at the same time, a novel that keeps you interested in its characters and their stories.

Not the educational book you want, if you’re looking for the straight enslaved African story, but another great book from Bernardine Evaristo!

Listened to in one sitting!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️