Charles Johnson’s 1990 slaver-ship yarn is one of my favorite stories. Loved it! A beautifully-written story.
The circa-1830 tale follows antihero Rutherford Calhoun, an erudite, freed slave who stows away aboard an illegal slaving ship, the Republic, in order to escape marriage to a New England schoolteacher. Little does Calhoun know that the intended goal of the ship is to capture some of the Allmuseri tribe and their precious, mysterious artifacts.
Johnson’s rendering of the treachery and personal relationships among the passengers and crew put the reader right in the middle of the ocean, with a terrible storm and other horrors bearing down on them. I enjoyed the story so much I felt compelled to cite officer Cringle’s amazing, selfless act in my first novel, Watching the World Fall.
Middle Passage is a novel that’s gone back in my stack of books to read.