Barry Unsworth’s gripping historical novel about the Atlantic slave trade shared the 1992 Booker Prize with Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient.

Outcast Matthew Paris boards the Liverpool Merchant as ship’s doctor on a slave trade voyage. Illness breaks out, and slaves are ordered to be tossed overboard. Mutiny ensues and, with Paris as one of the leaders, the ship sails for Florida to establish an egalitarian society. Meanwhile, the loss of the ship has ruined its owner, Kemp, who hangs himself. Twelve years later, upon hearing rumours of a utopian interracial community in Florida, Kemp’s son sets out for revenge.

The Booker Prize 1992
Published by
Hamish Hamilton
Publication date
Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth

About the Author

Barry Unsworth was born in London. He published 17 novels, and is best known for his historical fiction.
More about Barry Unsworth

Other nominated books by Barry Unsworth

The Ruby in Her Navel
Morality Play
Pascali's Island