The Moor's Account
About the Book
From the widely praised author of SECRET SON and HOPE AND OTHER DANGEROUS PURSUITS-a stunning piece of historical fiction: the imagined memoirs of the New World's first explorer of African descent, a Moroccan slave known as Estebanico.
In 1527, Pánfilo de Narváez sailed from Spain with a crew of six hundred men, intending to claim for the Spanish crown what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States. But from the moment the expedition reached Florida, it met with ceaseless bad luck-storms, disease, starvation, hostile natives-and within a year there were only four survivors, including the young explorer Andrés Dorantes and his slave, Estebanico. After six years of enslavement by Native Americans, the four men escaped and wandered through what is now Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Moor's Account brilliantly captures Estebanico's voice and vision, giving us an alternate narrative for this famed expedition. As this dramatic chronicle unfolds, we come to understand that, contrary to popular belief, black men played a significant part in New World exploration, and that Native American men and women were not merely silent witnesses to it. In Laila Lalami's deft hands, Estebanico's memoir illuminates the ways in which stories can transmigrate into history, even as storytelling can offer a chance at redemption and survival.