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Q&A: Esi Edugyan



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This year, 17 Canadian authors made it to the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, the country's richest literary award for fiction. To get some further insight into their work and their inspirations, CBC Books asked the longlisted authors a series of questions. As the prize jury debates which books will be named to the shortlist, we'll be posting our Q&As for you to enjoy.

Here we have Esi Edugyan, author of Half-Blood Blues.

Q: Pitch Canada your novel in three lines or less.

Esi Edugyan: Jazz. Nazis. Betrayal.

Q: Which Giller-longlisted book (other than your own!) would you like to see take home the prize?


EE: There are so many wonderful books I couldn't begin to narrow it down. I feel sorry for the jury!

Q: What's your favourite bookish place in Canada?half-blood-blues-175.jpg

EE: Russell Books in Victoria is a great place to while away an afternoon.

Q: Which Canadian author (alive or dead) would you most like to meet? Why?

EE: Mordecai Richler. Wouldn't be a dull evening.

Q: Who is your favourite fictional character and why?

EE: Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch. She is wonderfully good without being sentimental or boring.

Q: What would you be if you weren't a writer?

EE: An asbestos-cement pipe machine setter.

Q: What book has moved or affected you most in the past year?

EE: 2666 by Roberto Bolano affected me greatly. It's edgy and breaks a lot of rules, while at the same time reminding me of the resonance and value of serious literature. 

Come back soon for more Q&As with the longlisted authors.

Related: Q&A with Michael Christie

Related: Q&A with Suzette Mayr




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