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Feeding the Ghosts Paperback – 6 Feb 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (6 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847088643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847088642
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Poet, novelist and playwright FRED D'AGUIAR was born in London in 1960 to Guyanese parents. He lived in Guyana until he was 12, returning to England in 1972. His first collection of poetry, Mama Dot (1985) won the Guyana Poetry Prize, and his novel The Longest Memory won the Whitbread First Novel Award. He has since published seven collections of poetry and sixnovels, including Bethany Bettany (2003). He is currently Professor of English at Virginia Tech.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 27 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
'Feeding the Ghosts' illustrates the terrible, terrible wickedness of the slave trade. Slaves, bound for the new world, were not infrequently thrown overboard if they succumbed to the awful conditions they suffered in the filthy, overcrowded holds in which they were shackled. Descriptions of the callous, almost casual cruelty they were subjected to, are harrowing to read. But the book is not without hope. Minta, the female African slave central to the story, demonstrates a courage and humanity that lifts the spirit and has the reader praying for her survival and wellbeing.
Mr. D'Aguiar has also written poetry. It shows in a prose which is often as lyrical as it is powerful. A beautifully written book about one of the most shameful periods in Britain's and America's history, it is very well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't expect to like this text, at face value it's not the genre I enjoy. However the story was told in such a way that captivates the reader. Basically, the story follows a ship called 'The Zong', which is holding slaves to take them to the Caribbean to be sold. A disease spreads on this ships, leading the captain to order the crew to throw the sick overboard. The story is in parts uncomfortable and disturbing, but it was reality for those a few hundred years ago who were captured and sent aboard ships to be slaves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel set mostly on a slave ship, but the court case back in England was interesting too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars African diaspora 27 Nov. 2011
By E. A. Speed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
D'Aguiar has written a very good version of what occurred on the slave ships as the Atlantic was crossed on the way to the Americas. He has made the reader experience the horrors as if they were there to see the horrendous events that happened. It is a useful selection in the library of a reader who is interested in the African diaspora.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 25 April 2017
By Tayvea S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. Makes you angry, makes you cry. Worth the read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Imagery Juxtaposed with the Middle Passage 7 Dec. 2005
By M. Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
D'Aguiar takes the creative license to create a story about a woman Mintah on the Middle Passage of the slave trade. When disease starts affecting those on board the slave ship Zong, the captain orders all the sick to be thrown into the sea. The narrative then closely follows Mintah as she survives being thrown overboard, climbs back on to the ship, lives secretly in the supply room with the help of Simon, the young cook's aid, and writes her experiences in a journal. D'Aguiar's language throughout the novel is simplistic yet so effective in describing the extraordinary events that surround Mintah, our heroine, that it is impossible to not be engaged with the storyline.

The only time that I felt that the narrative was jarred was in Part 2. This is the only part when D'Aguiar moves away from Mintah's perspective. Perhaps other reader consider this section to be necessary to the progression of the plot. I just wished the transition from the ship Zong to the court room.

An image manipulated in the novel is the sea. It comes to represent a conqueror, a friend, or an enemy. Its implications as a witness to and an embracer of the jettisoning of the Africans is thought-provoking and incredibly compelling.

Read this book. It will make you cry over something, whether it be the subject matter, Mintah's relationship with Simon, or just the lovely diction and imagery conjured by D'Aguiar.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Enlightening 21 Mar. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Feeding the Ghosts belongs with Johnson's Middle Passage and Morrison's Beloved for offering an accurate portrayal of the immense human tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade coupled with the amazing power of resilience. D'Aguiar's novel reminds us that those we may see only as victims of a brutal system constantly fought that system; their resistance continued even as their hope for a future free from inhumanity disappeared. From the opening line of the novel, "The sea is slavery," the narrative reveals the many ways that the enslaved were at the mercy of their captives, yet it chronicles the repeated efforts of one slave in particular--a young, English-speaking woman--to find a small remnant of humanity in her captors and turn that humanity into freedom.
In addition to the novel's sobering re-creation of the indignities of the slave trade, its imagery and spellbinding writing offer a subtext that explores the power of language. Though the merchants of and investors in the slave trade were allowed to describe and control the language with which the trade was conducted, the final word is yet to be spoken. D'Aguiar's voice joins with that of his character Mintah to help us redefine this peculiar institution.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand storytelling!! 17 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This work is the best story expounding the imhumanity the peddling in flesh trade produced. By providing a portrait of victim and victimizer, Feeding the Ghost shows the banality humanity faced when coupled with the bottomline. I really, enjoyed this book and suggest that everyone read this story. Moreover, the imagery of the African coast, Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean folk culture leap off of the page into one's imagination. What more can I say than kudos to Fred D'Aguair. And strongly suggest that everyone read this vivid portrayal of life not so long ago.
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