Episode 76 — Esi Edugyan


Esi Edugyan is the guest.  She’s a Canadian author whose novel, Half-Blood Blues,  was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011.  It won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and is now available from Picador here in the United States.

The Toronto Star raves:

Destined to win a wide audience…Deftly paced in incident and tone, moving from scenes of snappy dialogue, in which band members squabble and banter humorously, to tense, atmospheric passages of description…Edugyan makes fresh tracks in this richly-imagined story…Half-Blood Blues itself represent a kind of flowering—that of a gifted storyteller.

And The Times (London) says:

[Half-Blood Blues] shines with knowledge, emotional insight, and historical revisionism…Truly extraordinary in its evocation of time and place, its shimmering jazz vernacular, its pitch-perfect male banter and its period slang.

Topics of conversation include:  Victoria, Calgary, age, Canada, America, nationalism, patriotism, travel, first peoples, urban cycling, motorcycles, shyness, awkwardness, racism, retirees, hippies, Toronto, poetry, journalism, V.C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic, Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, residencies, grants, Stuttgart, Iceland, biography, research, Akademie Schloss Solitude, The Shining, Steven Price, Virginia, Baltimore, publishing, adversity, persistence, agents, sales, expectations, readings, and starting from scratch.

Monologue topics:  helicopters, nature, giant flying insects, the Giant Weta, carrots, viruses, recoveries, my daughter, and driving around Los Angeles in the middle of the night.