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Sacred Hunger

Sacred Hunger

A blasphemous outcast, Matthew Paris boards the “Liverpool Merchant” as ship’s doctor as it embarks on a mercantile voyage in the slave trade. An illness breaks out among the slaves and crew between Guinea and the West Indies, and slaves are ordered to be tossed overboard in order to claim the insurance. Illness gives rise to mutiny, the captain is killed, and, with Paris as one of the leaders, the ship sails for Florida to establish an egalitarian, interracial society. Meanwhile, back in Liverpool, the loss of the ship has financially ruined its owner, Kemp, who hangs himself. Twelve years later, upon hearing rumours of a utopian community of blacks and whites in Florida, Kemp’s son sets out for revenge.

 

Sacred Hunger

About the Author

Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth was born in 1930 in Durham and died in June 2012. He travelled extensively in Greece and Turkey during the 1960s, teaching at the Universities of Istanbul and Athens. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His first novel, The Partnership, was published in 1966. It was followed by The Greeks Have a Word For It (1967), The Hide (1970), and Mooncranker’s Gift (1973), winner of the Heinemann Award. Pascali’s Island (1980) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and was later adapted as a film starring Ben Kingsley. His tenth novel, Sacred Hunger (1992), was joint winner of the Booker Prize in 1992. The Ruby in her Navel (2006) was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2006. Barry Unsworth lived in Umbria, Italy in the later years of his life. He was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by Manchester University in 1998.

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