The Moor's Account

The Moor's Account

A Novel

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
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In 1527 the Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez arrived on the coast of modern-day Florida with hundreds of settlers, and claimed the region for Spain. Almost immediately, the expedition was decimated by a combination of navigational errors, disease, starvation and fierce resistance from indigenous tribes. Within a year, only four survivors remained: three noblemen and a Moroccan slave called "Estebanico". The official record, set down after a reunion with Spanish forces in 1536, contains only the three freemen's accounts. The fourth, to which the title of Laila Lalami's masterful novel alludes, is Estebanico's own. Lalami gives us Estebanico as history never did: as Mustafa, the vibrant merchant from Azemmur forced into slavery and a new name, and reborn as the first black explorer of the Americas, discovering and being discovered by various tribes both hostile and compassionate. In Estebanico's telling, the survivors' journey across great swathes of the New World transforms would-be conquerors into humble servants and fearful outcasts into faith healers. He remains ever-observant, resourceful and hopeful that he might one day find his way back to his family, even as he experiences an unexpected (if ambiguous) camaraderie with his masters. The Moor's Account illuminates the ways in which stories can transmigrate into history, and how storytelling can offer a chance for redemption, reinvention and survival.
Publisher: New York, New York : Pantheon Books, 2014
ISBN: 9781859644294
1859644295
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Opinion

From Library Staff

Morocco - "It was the year 934 of the Heriga, the thirtieth year of my life, the fifth year of my bondage - and I was at the edge of the known world. I was marching behind Señor Dorantes in a lush territory he, and Castilians like him, called La Florida."

Of the four survivors of Pánfilo de Návaez’s disastrous 1527 expedition in search of Florida’s legendary City of Gold, one figure is virtually unknown. Moorish slave Estebanico is reduced to a single sentence in Cabeza de Vaca’s celebrated account of the expedition. Lalami’s novel re-imagines the... Read More »

Of the four survivors of Pánfilo de Návaez’s disastrous 1527 expedition in search of Florida’s legendary City of Gold, one figure is virtually unknown. Moorish slave Estebanico is reduced to a single sentence in Cabeza de Vaca’s celebrated account of the expedition. Lalami’s novel re-imagines the... Read More »


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c
Candaceb108
Mar 15, 2017

A good read. Finally, their story instead of history.

u
uncommonreader
Jan 06, 2017

An interesting imagining of a disastrous Spanish expedition to Florida in the 16th century told from the perspective of a slave. The role of the colonizers and the Church in the genocide of indigenous peoples is shown, as is the humanity of the aboriginal peoples. A very enjoyable and interesting read.

Aug 16, 2015

A very satisfying read, well deserving its nominations for prestigious literary prizes.

m
mblummichaels
Jul 29, 2015

very good writer

r
rdw39
Jul 07, 2015

I found this book to be a very well written story of the 16th Century exploration of the southern coast of Florida by the Spaniards. The main character was fascinating to me & his story is very informative & quite interesting. I found him to be a redeeming man who knew right from wrong & struggled with his inward faith when confronted with challenges he knew he must do. Although a work of fiction, the author did much research regarding her story and characters. I learned a lot from this novel & could recommend it as a good read.

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