Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Esi Edugyan Wins Canada’s Richest Literary Prize

Esi Edugyan has won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen).

The announcement of the largest annual literary prize in Canada was made at a black-tie dinner and award ceremony hosted by Jian Ghomeshi and broadcast live on CBC. The Scotiabank Giller Prize awards $50,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $5,000 to each of the finalists.

Of the winning book, the jury wrote:
Imagine Mozart were a black German trumpet player and Salieri a bassist, and 18th century Vienna were WWII Paris; that’s Esi Edugyan’s joyful lament, Half-Blood Blues. It’s conventional to liken the prose in novels about jazz to the music itself, as though there could be no higher praise. In this case, say rather that any jazz musician would be happy to play the way Edugyan writes. Her style is deceptively conversational and easy, but with the simultaneous exuberance and discipline of a true prodigy. Put this book next to Louis Armstrong’s ‘West End’ -- these two works of art belong together.”
Also nominated:
David Bezmozgis for his novel The Free World (HarperCollins)
Lynn Coady for her novel The Antagonist (Anansi)
Patrick deWitt for his novel The Sisters Brothers (Anansi)
Zsuzsi Gartner for her short story collection Better Living Through Plastic Explosives (Hamish Hamilton Canada)
Michael Ondaatje for his novel The Cat’s Table (McClelland & Stewart)



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