Middle Passage

Middle Passage

Book - 1990
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Charles Johnson's National Book Award-winning masterpiece--"a novel in the tradition of Billy Budd and Moby-Dick ...heroic in proportion...fiction that hooks the mind" ( The New York Times Book Review )--now with a new introduction from Stanley Crouch.

Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed slave and irrepressible rogue, is lost in the underworld of 1830s New Orleans. Desperate to escape the city's unscrupulous bill collectors and the pawing hands of a schoolteacher hellbent on marrying him, he jumps aboard the Republic , a slave ship en route to collect members of a legendary African tribe, the Allmuseri. Thus begins a voyage of metaphysical horror and human atrocity, a journey which challenges our notions of freedom, fate and how we live together. Peopled with vivid and unforgettable characters, nimble in its interplay of comedy and serious ideas, this dazzling modern classic is a perfect blend of the picaresque tale, historical romance, sea yarn, slave narrative and philosophical allegory.

Now with a new introduction from renowned writer and critic Stanley Crouch, this twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Middle Passage celebrates a cornerstone of the American canon and the masterwork of one of its most important writers. "Long after we'd stopped believe in the great American novel, along comes a spellbinding adventure story that may be just that" ( Chicago Tribune ).
Publisher: c1990.
ISBN: 9780684855882
Branch Call Number: FICTION


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 10, 2017

This is a wonderful book "picaresque tale, historical romance, sea yarn, slave naarative and philosophical novel". A memorable character Rutherford Calhoun a black man stowaway on a slave ship.

Feb 13, 2015

the author constantly showed me my assumptions and expectations were completely off course! To say it is about race would be way too narrow. It is about the universal human experience through a superb storyteller. I found myself repeatedly sensing how insidious prejudice is!

Dec 11, 2010

1990 National Book Award - Fiction

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number



Find it at CPL

To Top