It was not fair of me to read Washington Black so close to reading The Underground Railroad. Really, other than examining the impact of slavery on the psyche, they are just so different in so many ways: writing style, scope, tone, literary elements. But next to the bravura of Colson Whitehead's novel, this seems circumspect in comparison. It deserves praise for pairing the power of individual imagination in an era of belief in possibilities of science with the limitations imposed by personal prejudice engendered by slavery, racism, class, and society in one story. Lovely, sad, hopeful, and imaginative, all in one.