Half-Blood Blues

By Esi Edugyan
(Picador USA, Paperback, 9781250012708, 321pp.)

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

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Description

Winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize
Man Booker Prize Finalist 2011
An Oprah Magazine Best Book of the Year

Shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
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.




About the Author
ESI EDUGYAN s most recent novel, Half-Blood Blues, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General s Literary Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Edugyan has held fellowships in the U.S., Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain and Belgium. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and daughter.

WEB: ESIEDUGYAN.COM




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CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. To what end does the novel take the reader back and forth in time and place, from Berlin to Paris in the 1930s and 40s and Europe in the 1990s? How does this affect the reader?

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