Washington Black by Esi Edugyan was a great book. I think part of what I liked about it was that it was a book about a slave without being a book about slavery per se (while that was certainly a theme, Washington Black’s life was the more important thread). Washington Black, born a slave, becomes an assistant to his master’s brother and learns to read and draw scientific illustrations. His work takes him all over the world in search of different things. It’s a fast-paced read and is so well-written. I highly recommend you pick it up – I really enjoyed it.