Edugyan Wins 2011 Giller


Canadian writer, Esi Edugyan has won the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her book Half Blood Blues. This comes on the heels of her original publisher filing for bankruptcy this fall.

Publisher's Weekly reports that only 23,000 copies were originally printed in Canada, and publisher Thomas Allen will be printing "upwards of 20,000" more.  The book was also published in the UK, and has not yet been published in the US. (The US publishing date is set for February 28, 2012).

From the Book Description:
Berlin, 1939. The Hot Time Swingers, a popular jazz band, has been forbidden to play by the Nazis. Their young trumpet-player Hieronymus Falk, declared a musical genius by none other than Louis Armstrong, is arrested in a Paris café. He is never heard from again. He was twenty years old, a German citizen. And he was black.
Berlin, 1952. Falk is a jazz legend. Hot Time Swingers band members Sid Griffiths and Chip Jones, both African Americans from Baltimore, have appeared in a documentary about Falk. When they are invited to attend the film’s premier, Sid’s role in Falk’s fate will be questioned and the two old musicians set off on a surprising and strange journey.
From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris, Sid leads the reader through a fascinating, little-known world as he describes the friendships, love affairs and treacheries that led to Falk’s incarceration in Sachsenhausen. Half-Blood Blues is a story about music and race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.

Signed, first editions (Publisher: Thomas Allen, Sep. 2, 2011, Canada) are listing for $280 on Abebooks. This paperback edition has card covers with "French Flaps."

Signed, first UK editions (Publisher: Serpent's Tail, June 2, 2011, London) are listing in the range of $50. (This edition is  a paperback).

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