Friday • August 16 • 7:00 pm
Winner, Scotiabank Giller Prize; winner, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; winner, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; finalist, Governor General's Award; finalist, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Award; shortlisted, Man Booker Prize. The list goes on for Esi Edugyan's stunning second novel, Half Blood Blues. It is a book that might never have been, had a disillusioned Edugyan not given literary life a second chance. Following her well received first novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, she was unable to find a publisher for what would have been her second novel, and began contemplating other career options. Instead, she spent time in Germany and became fascinated by the dichotomy between that country's dark history and its modern incarnation. She sat down and wrote Half Blood Blues, a story of jazz, race and Nazi Germany. The protagonist is the son of a white German mother and a black African soldier. The Nazis called them 'Rhineland bastards'. Bad enough in the Germany of the 30s, but even worse if you were a musician playing the "degenerate music of blacks and Jews."