Nominated by:

Saint John Free Public Library, Canada

Calgary Public Library, Canada

Edmonton Public Library, Canada

Grant Mac Ewan University Library, Edmonton, Canada

Winnipeg Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Thomas Allen Publishers, Canada

Half-Blood Blues

Esi Edugyan    

2013 Longlist

Paris, 1940.  A brilliant jazz musician, Hiero, is arrested by the Nazis and never heard from again. He is twenty years old. He is a German citizen. And he is black.

Fifty years later, his friend and fellow musician, Sid, must relive that unforgettable time, revealing the friendships, love affairs and treacheries that sealed Hiero’s fate. From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris — where the legendary Louis Armstrong makes an appearance — Sid, with his distinctive and rhythmic German-American slang, leads the reader through a fascinating world alive with passion, music and the spirit of the resistance.

Half-Blood Blues, the second novel by an exceptionally talented young writer, is an entrancing, electric story about jazz, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Esi Edugyan has degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including “Best New American Voices 2003.” Her debut novel, “The Second Life of Samuel Tyne,” was published internationally to critical acclaim. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Librarians’ Comments

2011 Scotia Bank Giller Prize Winner and shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Paris, 1940. A brilliant jazz musician, Hiero, is arrested by the Nazis and never heard from again. He is twenty years old. He is German citizen. And he is black. Half-Blood Blues is an entrancing, electric story about jazz, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.

An exploration of the impact of history on individuals of how moments of grace get lost in a world of hatred, how fear imperils any sense of dignity and how friendships can form between the most disparate people.

Powerful, original story of complex characters in highly charged relationships. Both insightful and emotionally powerful. Described by one critic as “ballsy, brave and explosive.” Two plot lines deftly interwoven. Assured and engaging writing style. Nominated for the Man Booker and Giller Prizes.

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