We are delighted to announce that Michael Harris has won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction for his book The End of Absence (HarperCollins Canada).
Nov-18-14 - 12:19
WRITERS' TRUST AWARDS
Congratulations to Joan Thomas on being awarded the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Engel/Findley Award. The award is given annually to a mid-career writer in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian literature.
Nov-05-14 - 02:35
SARAH LAZAROVIC ON THE TODAY SHOW!
Sarah Lazarovic joins TODAY to talk about why she swore off clothes and shoes for 365 days, and the lessons she learned, which she details in her new book, “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy” (Penguin Press).
LENA DUNHAM RECOMMENDS DRUNK MOM BY JOWITA BYDLOWSKA
“An intense, complex and disturbing story, bravely and beautifully told. I read Drunk Mom with my jaw on the floor, which doesn’t happen to me that often.“
-Lena Dunham, creator and star of Girls
Sep-29-14 - 09:08
HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION
Congratulations to Charles Montgomery and Susan Delacourt on being named finalists for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
Sep-17-14 - 09:33
MORE PRESS FOR THE END OF ABSENCE BY MICHAEL HARRIS
"His far-ranging research provides a wealth of thought-provoking statistics and details, and The End of Absence has a kinetic energy well-matched to our jumpy attention spans."
-The Washington Post
“Chances are, you'll recognize yourself in Harris' writing and note that you, too, enjoyed a life without so much static. Toward the end of his concise work, he takes a monthlong sabbatical leave from the Internet and his cellphone and all their related trappings. He gains no epiphany, though, and offers no sweeping advice for readers. It is, he acknowledges, more meditation than prescription, but it is an illuminating, worthy reckoning of our disjointed, digital life.”
"The End of Absence works because it does not preach. It combines the wealth of the author's research and traces our rapid path from analog days to today. It is also an enlightening and humorous study of 'author as subject'. [It] provides an engaging personal story and a serious look at both the past and the future."
"...thoughtful, researched musings on our connected lives... Harris walks us through his particular muddle with wit, wry honesty, and compassion."
-Christian Science Monitor
Congratulations to Alison Wearing whose memoir, CONFESSIONS OF A FAIRY'S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Creative Non-Fiction Award.
Aug-08-14 - 11:22
HAPPY PUB WEEK, MICHAEL HARRIS!
Happy publication week to Michael Harris, whose book THE END OF ABSENCE was just released in Canada (HarperCollins) and the US (Current/Penguin).
“Harris is a smooth writer and a smart critic about what we’ve lost in today’s technology.”
“Harris’ Analog August and my quantifying of a recent summer Saturday serve the same purpose. They call attention to what is otherwise automatic and remind us not to get lost in the digital noise.”
"Rather than just scold and lecture on the depersonalization of society, Harris adeptly shows that the mission should be to balance our dependency on technology with the innate need for silence and solitude. The End Of Absence is note-worthy for its original and imaginative approach to correcting the inevitable negative ramifications that shadow a computerized culture."
“Mr. Harris marshals impressive evidence to make the case that absence is crucial to the way our brains learn, develop and progress.”
-The Book Reader on NY1
THE DEMONOLOGIST WINS INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD
Congratulations Andrew Pyper whose novel THE DEMONOLOGIST won the 2014 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel!
Jul-14-14 - 09:51
EARLY REVIEWS FOR 'CRIMES AGAINST MY BROTHER', THE NEW NOVEL BY DAVID ADAMS RICHARDS
"Crimes Against My Brother is a tragedy in the classic sense. I watched helplessly as characters I was fond of authored their own demise, sometimes deliberately, sometimes with the best of intentions, but in almost all cases avoidably. That’s how the best tragedies work — you know what’s coming, but you just can’t look away, and you can’t help wonder what you’d do in the same situation. Catharsis is the word some people would use to describe this feeling, although it’s not a word that would ever be used by the likes of Evan Young or Ian Preston or Harold Dew. Finally, the question of God — and a meddling, vengeful one at that — in Crimes Against My Brother is never specifically answered. This is good. This is in fact vital, since we must be left wondering how much is divine retribution and how much is the cause and effect of human actions. If there is a moral of the story, then, that unanswered question is where it hides, and David Adams Richards has again proven his mastery by leaving it to us to answer."
"[A] multi-layerd tale, rife with tragedy and betrayal... Richards’ characters seem as genuine as the hardships he puts them through and amid all the gloom, there is an underlying message of hope."
-The London Free Press
"[A] subtle investigation into humanity’s almost infinite capacity for self-deception... No conscience is left untested, but Richards also bestows tenderness and compassion on the troubled blood brothers. It makes for compelling reading."
-Quill & Quire
"Crimes Against My Brother is grandly ambitious and beautifully written. While unrelenting in its gravitas, the novel offers an astute, compelling and compassionate exploration of the human spirit."
“Coming upon some of [Richards'] passages is like catching glimpses of the Pole star; there is a life in them that we know is instructive ... Even in some of Richards’s darkest statements one discerns someone willing to voice our worst suspicions, rather than win us over with false sparkle ... This same quality allows Richards to elicit empathy for very minor characters in a couple of hard sentences ... We see in them some irreducible, unrecognized element in our own selves ... Richards’s work is powerful because it issues a call to spiritual brotherhood.”
-The Globe and Mail
“The latest is a masterpiece but so were all the rest of this writer’s many books.”
-Owen Sound Sun Times
Steven Heighton's novel Afterlands (Knopf Canada) has been chosen by director Pall Grimsson (Alcina Pictures) to be presented at the Berlinale Co-Production Market, where producers and directors of 39 selected film projects and five additional companies will meet with 450 potential co-production and financing partners.
Martin Walker, author of the acclaimed, Bruno, Chief of Police series, was honored to be a chevalier of the Confrérie de Pâté de Périgueux. The event took place over the weekend in the market square of the capital of Périgord, in the presence of mayor, Gerard Fayolle, Pierrot the village policeman (who inspired the Bruno books) and the owner of Fauquet’s café, where great fictional events unfold.
Nov-11-13 - 01:11
EARLY RELEASE DATE FOR ROB FORD BOOK
Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle's book CRAZY TOWN: THE ROB FOR STORY (Penguin Canada), originally slated for publication in March 2014 will now be released in February.
The book jacket was revealed earlier this week on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.
On October 16, 2013 The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation announced, at the Université de Montréal, the names of the four recipients of its prestigious research award. Timothy Caulfied, author of The Cure For Everything (Penguin Canada), was among the four recipients:
"This unrivalled communicator is debunking myths and assumptions about innovation in the health sector – from research on stem cells to diets to alternative medicine – for the benefit of the public and decision-makers." --Trudeau Foundation
Oct-17-13 - 10:15
TORONTO STAR REPORTER WRITES BOOK ABOUT MAYOR ROB FORD
Congratulations to Robyn Doolittle whose book Crazy Town, which chronicles the drama swirling around Mayor Rob Ford and his family, will be published March 2014 by Penguin Canada!
"Doolittle is one of the Star's most revered reporters, so the likelihood this book will contain plenty of delicious details about the Ford family's past is astronomically high." --The Atlantic Wire
Oct-17-13 - 09:23
GILLER PRIZE SHORTLIST 2013
Congratulations to Lisa Moore on making the Giller Prize shortlist for her novel Caught (House of Anansi Press).
Oct-08-13 - 10:47
ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE SHORTLIST
Congratulations to our nominated authors: Krista Bridge (The Eliot Girls, D&M) and Lisa Moore (Caught, House of Anansi Press)!!!
Sep-30-13 - 09:26
VIDEO: J.B. MacKinnon Wants to Get Wild: Specifically, 'rewild.'
Congratulations to Steve Lillebuen, whose book The Devil's Cinema: The Untold Story behind Mark Twitchell's Kill Room (McClelland & Stewart) won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Nonfiction.
"[A] well-written and researched exploration of a very dark side of a young would-be filmmaker who is perhaps a tad over-influenced in his life and actions by the fictional TV character, serial killer Dexter Morgan. The horrific crimes and the trial of Edmontonian Mark Twitchell is deftly presented by Steve Lillebuen in a book that is a well-paced, hard to put down, real-life thriller." --Jury citation
May-31-13 - 09:28
TRILLIUM BOOK AWARDS
Congratulations to Steven Heighton whose short story collection The Dead Are More Visible was named a finalist for the 2013 Trillium Book Award.
“This ambitious and riveting novel grips the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go until its chilling ending. Combining precise detail with sweeping statements of sharp insight, the author has written both a spellbinding story and an unsettling exploration of dark human truths. This is a masterful work of great imagination…” --jury citation
May-28-13 - 01:23
DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD
Congratulations to Anton Piatigorsky (The Iron Bridge, Goose Lane Editions) and John Vigna (Bull Head, Arsenal Pulp Press) whose short story collections have been shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed!
May-14-13 - 11:40
2013 ARTHUR ELLIS SHORTLISTS
Congratulations to Peggy Blair on being shortlisted in the Best First novel catagory for The Beggar’s Opera (Penguin Canada), and to Steven Lillebuen who was shortlisted in the Nonfiction category for his true crime book The Devil’s Cinema: The Untold Story behind Mark Twitchell’s Kill Room (McClelland & Stewart).
"Anansi's New Star" Saleema Nawaz graces the cover of next month's Quill & Quire! Saleema's debut novel Bone & Bread comes out next week.
Mar-15-13 - 01:40
THE DEMONOLOGIST IS ON FIRE
Andrew Pyper'sThe Demonologist debuts at #3 on the Maclean's hardcover fiction list, is #8 on the Toronto Star's Fiction Bestseller List, and debuted at #9 on the The Globe and Mail fiction list (#6 on the Canadian list).
And the reviews keep pouring in:
"[B]ring on the devils and make way for Milton."
-New York Times Book Review
“This book is going to be big, and it’s going to be popular, and it absolutely deserves to be both of these things. You should buy it, and read it, and let it scare you stupid.”
“A chilling novel for readers who like their horror presented with literary flair.”
-Fort Worth Star-Telegram (US)
"In the sly, creepy and often-horrific The Demonologist, Andrew Pyper knows how to get under the skin of even the most rational reader."
-The Columbus Dispatch (US)
“With THE DEMONOLOGIST, Andrew Pyper has created a truly blood-curdling work that will have readers looking over their shoulders and on edge from beginning to end. Whereas other classics in the genre have focused on battling evil, this novel seeks to understand the very nature of evil from its origins. The fact that he is able to breathe life into the book’s plausibility creates an unsettling feeling and completely satisfying horror read without ever becoming clichéd in the process.”
"Taut, intelligent and utterly gripping...[The Demonologist] is a fascinating exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche."
-Raven Crime Reads
"* * * * [Four Stars]...Intense and satisfying."
“The plot rarely flags and remains difficult to predict, twisting elegantly rather than through clear contrivances, and the Miltonic and biblical echoes add an extra layer to what is, at its heart, a dissection of depression and an argument for hope.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
Mar-14-13 - 09:52
PUBLICATION DAY FOR ANDREW PYPER'S THE DEMONOLOGIST
Congratulations to Andrew Pyper on the publication of The Demonologist (Simon & Schuster, Canada and US). The book has already generated a lot of buzz. Here is just some of the attention it has received so far:
Amazon.com Editor's Pick One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Mysteries & Thrillers of Spring 2013
An Indie Next Pick for March 2013 by the American Booksellers Association
Book-of-the-Month Club Selection
"Pyper’s a star because he writes so spectacularly. The entire story is drenched in dread, and his most terrifying scenes are so vivid, you’d best not be reading the book just before hitting the sack." -NOW
"The Demonologist reads like a ready-made screenplay, a fast-paced Exorcist-meets-Da Vinci Code where the actual horror happens off-screen, in the mind. Which, as Pyper surely knows from Milton, is where evil truly dwells." -Maclean's Magazine
Gook luck to Lisa Moore, Alison Pick, Fred Stenson, Todd Babiak and Ivan E. Coyote.
Nov-14-12 - 12:14
Advance Praise for Andrew Pyper's The Demonologist
“A smart, thrilling, utterly unnerving novel. Pyper’s gift is that he deeply respects his readers, yet still insists on reducing them to quivering children. I like that in a writer.”
—GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
“The Demonologist is that rare thing - a novel that is both genuinely terrifying and erudite. The research is excellent and lightly worn, the pace and cleverness of the plot thrilling, one of the most exciting works of fiction I've read for some time.”
-Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel
"As compelling and smoothly chilling a tale as you'll find this year. The Demonologist shows an enormously gifted writer at the top of his game, producing a novel of eerie menace and unique depth. Those of us who write supernatural stories do not throw the names Ira Levin, William Peter Blatty, and Peter Straub around lightly. You'll be hearing all three associated with Mr. Pyper soon, and all such comparisons are warranted, the highest praise I can offer."
-Michael Koryta, New York Times Bestselling author of The Prophet
"Plenty of books claim to be scary, but this is genuinely terrifying, don't-read-late-at-night stuff. Thrilling, compelling and beautifully written, The Demonologist makes Rosemary's Baby feel like a walk in the park."
-SJ Watson, author of Before I Go To Sleep
"Andrew Pyper's The Demonologist is a smart psychological thriller served up straight with a twist of Milton. Part road trip, part family tragedy that touches on the nature of good and evil, it unfolds like a classical descent into hell, only played out against Interstates and cheap motels with vivid demons at every turn. Carefully crafted, claustrophobic, and deeply deeply creepy."
-Simon Toyne, author of Sanctus
"Richly crafted, deliriously scary and compulsively page-turning from beginning to end. Imagine The Exorcist and The Da Vinci Code as penned by Daphne du Maurier. Don't miss this one!"
-Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author
"Andrew Pyper’s satisfying prose propels a narrative sure to please readers with or without a dog-eared copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost on their shelves. If you’re looking for smart horror that chills without resorting to Grand Guignol, give The Demonologist a look."
-Christopher Buehlman, author of the World Fantasy Award-nominated Those Across the River
"Smart and astonishing, Andrew Pyper has created a recurring nightmare for adults. The Demonologist holds a mirror to the reader and reveals the places where our deepest darkness lurks. Like Milton's Paradise Lost, this is the story of the human condition, the fall, and the way back. I slept with the light on for nights, too obsessed to stop reading and too terrified to dream."
-Brunonia Barry, New York Times and International Best Selling Author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places
In the British Columbia and Yukon region: Ivan E. Coyote and Angie Abdou; Prairies and North: Fred Stenson, Todd Babiak and Wayne Arthurson; Ontario: Alison Pick; Atlantic: David Adams Richards, Jessica Grant, Michael Crummey, Lisa Moore and Don Hannah.
Oct-24-12 - 11:31
THOMAS HEAD RADDALL PRIZE
Congratulations to David Adams Richards for winning the Thomas Head Raddall Prize for his novel Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul! This award celebrates Atlantic Canadian adult fiction and is presented by the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia.
Oct-15-12 - 09:23
Vincent Lam a Governor General's Literary Award Finalist!
Congratulations to Vincent Lam, who has been named as a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for The Headmaster's Wager! The winner will be announced mid-November. For a full list of nominees, click here.
Oct-02-12 - 09:09
Caitlin Cronenberg shoots novelist Grace O'Connell for Elle Canada's October issue
Oct-01-12 - 02:17
ANDREW WESTOLL NAMED EDNA STAEBLER WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE
“I am honoured to have been selected. Every writer yearns for a creative opportunity like this. But I am especially excited to begin engaging with the Laurier student community through lectures and workshops. If I can help aspiring writers on campus find their own literary voices, I'll consider these three months a success.”
Sep-28-12 - 12:59
Karen Le Billon's FRENCH KIDS EAT EVERYTHING
Canada: HarperCollins, April 2012
US: William Morrow, April 2012
UK: Little, Brown/Piatkus
Russia: Sinbad Publishers Limited
Korea: Korea National Open University Press
Poland: Swiat Ksiazki/Weltbild Polska Ltd.
Taiwan: Business Weekly Publications, A Division of Cite Publishing Ltd.
Brazil: Editora Alaude
Lithuania: Gimtasis Zodis
Sep-24-12 - 12:27
VIGNA'S BULL HEAD PUBLISHED TO STUNNING REVIEWS
John Vigna's short story collection, BULL HEAD, published this month by Arsenal Pulp Press, is receiving rave reviews accross the boad! Here's what some reviewers are saying:
"His characters have messy, squalid lives, but his prose is luminous and precise, infused with a kind of merciless compassion, paradoxically beautiful in its depiction of the ugliness of poverty and the confusions of broken masculinity. Imagine a blend of Vancouver genius Billie Livingston’s urban grit with Alberta’s Mark Anthony Jarman’s detailed portrayal of men in and making trouble. Go out and get a copy of this impressive debut and discover John Vigna’s world of scars, bottles, heart break and occasional tenderness. These are stories that will haunt the reader and open up mountain vistas to new insights into the human condition."
"Vigna showcases an aptly spare style and an impressive willingness to explore the fraught relationships of guys deeply flummoxed, or else defeated, by the wintery meanness of getting by in the valley... The outstanding strengths of Bull Head relate to Vigna’s style and voice."
-The Globe and Mail
“[A]t no point does Vigna condescend to his characters: These men may yearn for something beyond themselves, but they are all possessed of dignity and at least some measure of self-respect. This, more than anything, elevates these stories and lends them an aspect of striking melancholy.”
“[A] sumptuously plotted first novel... Lam goes for the jugular, combining an operatic love story…with evocations of Vietnam’s occupation by the Japanese and the later horrors of the Vietcong’s persecution of the city of Hue.” -The New York Times Book Review
"Lam, a Canadian whose family lived for a time in Vietnam's community of Chinese expatriates, is sensitive to the complexities of allegiance, to the impossibility of being impartial, and to the way that, in war, every gambit, no matter how well calculated, entails loss."
-The New Yorker
"Lam writes tellingly about intrigue, political collusion and the clash of
"[A] masterfully paced exploration of a world convulsed by war, wherein faith and reason no longer hold sway."
-Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Lam's straightforward prose draws readers into wartime Saigon, where everyone is on the take and choosing the wrong allies can prove deadly… Readers who enjoyed Denis Johnson's The Tree of Smoke will appreciate this Vietnamese view of the conflict.”
-Library Journal (starred review)
Aug-13-12 - 03:50
GLOBE AND MAIL SUMMER FICTION
Read a short short story by Steven Heighton: 'A tale about a shamingly strict sort of suicide watch'
Steven Heighton's new volume of short stories, The Dead Are More Visible, published last month by Knopf Canada, is receiving stellar reviews:
"The best stories in this book . . . are as good as the fiction of Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant. Or, to be more blunt, Heighton is as good a writer as Canada has ever produced… It is a testament to his authorial gifts that he not only can write about sex with exquisite delicacy, but that many of the best passages in his stories are about intimacy in the broadest sense . . . At its best, [his] vivid and precise prose manages to achieve the same miracle of incarnate expressiveness found in Joyce and Nabokov, masters whose words are so intensely textured and specific that we feel them pulsing through our body . . . The best stories in this book do what only great art can do: make us more fiercely alive."
"Work of this quality is a real achievement, even if the technique, as it should be, is often invisible."
"Heighton has returned to the short story with a collection as powerful as the much earlier linked stories of Flight Paths of the Emperor… A delight… Funny, scary, sad… He can write smart stories without seeming literary, while unafraid of tough stories about very unliterary people… [His] talent might be called a knack, but it could also be called genius."
—Globe & Mail
"A wonderfully engaging read . . .[His] characters . . . are appealingly human and compassionately constructed."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"Heighton is indisputably one of Canada's most important literary talents."
Jun-14-12 - 10:12
CBA LIBRIS AWARDS
Congratulations to Charlotte Gill, author of Eating Dirt, for winning the 2012 CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction, awarded by the Canadian Booksellers Association.
GILLER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR VINCENT LAM DAZZLES WITH FIRST NOVEL
Vincent Lam's hotly anticipated first novel, The Headmaster's Wager (Doubleday Canada), debuted last week to stellar reviews and a flurry of press.
"[T]ransfixing...This is a novel of many startling twists and turns... Lam has created a hypnotically tragic tale, epic in scope. One can only hope he will continue and fill in the years between the end of this novel and the beginning of 'The Long Migration.' It could turn out to be his Gold Mountain."
"It’s that street-level view of a story we’re more accustomed to viewing in panorama that ultimately makes Lam’s novel so effective and affecting. In stages so subtle they’re scarcely noticeable until he’s got you fully in his grip, Lam combines elements of historical fiction, political thriller and domestic drama to present one of the 20th
century’s defining stories in a whole new way. The Headmaster’s Wager is more than just an absorbing read. It’s a testament and memorial in fiction to a community that no longer exists."
"Lam's compelling family saga has believable characters manoeuvring in situations beyond their control, making desperate decisions in the hope of surviving the geo-political battles waging around them.The story is a suspenseful page turner, with the fate of many lives resting on the roll of the dice.A sweeping story, The Headmaster's Wager was the first novel Lam wrote, which has now found its final form. The wait has proven worthwhile. Vincent Lam has turned out a winning wager."
-Winnipeg Free Press
"Vincent Lam’s first novel, about Vietnam, has makings of a masterpiece... a powerful and engrossing work."
-The Globe and Mail
"In The Headmaster’s Wager, Lam has created a genuine page-turner. The author takes full advantage of the inherent suspense as the fall of Saigon looms and Chen finally realizes that he and his family may not survive the violence of the Viet Cong. The Headmaster’s Wager is a novel full of surprises and excitement."
-Quill & Quire
"Lam, an emergency physician in Toronto, vividly imparts the ways in which life is a high-stakes game of chance. Here, his ability to convey the scope of his character’s experiences through moments and gestures fills a greater canvas, artfully portraying heritage’s influence and the enduring ties between sires and heirs."
Congratulations to all our authors who made the list.
Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen Publishers)
Michael Christie’s The Beggar’s Garden (HarperCollins Canada)
Steven Price’s Into That Darkness (Thomas Allen Publishers)
Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize
Charlotte Gill’s Eating Dirt (Greystone Books)
Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award
Charlotte Gill’s Eating Dirt (Greystone Books)
Robert J. Wiersema’s Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen (Greystone Books)
Mar-08-12 - 09:11
ANDREW WESTOLL WINS CHARLES TAYLOR PRIZE
Congratulations to Andrew Westoll, winner of the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction for his book The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (HarperCollins Canada).
The prize was awarded in Toronto Monday March 5th.
Mar-05-12 - 01:28
HALF-BLOOD BLUES DEBUTS TO STELLAR REVIEWS IN THE US
"Though Half-Blood Blues is a jazz book, its greatest strength lies more in the rhythms of its conversations and Griffiths' pitch-perfect voice than in any musical exchanges. A simple, one-word sentence that could be just an expletive — 'Hell' — becomes so much more as Griffiths watches Nazis march into Paris under 'that dancing black spider,' and his dazed account of a band of weary survivors coalescing around Hiero's Half-Blood Blues is intoxicating enough to send you crate-digging through a record store's back room for anything like it. 'This was it, this was everything,' Griffiths says with a delirious awe that nearly excuses his unforgivable selfishness. 'We was all of us free, brother. For that night at least, we was free.' If there's a better description of jazz and its brilliant, in-the-moment power, you're not likely to find it."
"History is at the core of Esi Edugyan's brilliant second novel, Half-Blood Blues. Told in the jazzy patter of Sid's first-person monologue, which makes the Nazis into 'Boots' and every woman a 'jane,' even the well-known prelude to war feels intensely lived in... Swinging back and forth between the eras, this book - which won Canada's Scotiabank Giller Prize - is both lively and imbued with regret..."
"Esi Edugyan's excellent Half-Blood Blues sets its sights on the jazz musicians who flourished in Berlin during the cabaret heyday of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and found themselves endangered after Hitler's rise and Goebbels's proscription of what he called 'Jewish-Hottentot frivolity.' ... [A] tense, well-wrought novel."
--The Wall Street Journal
"While the rarely explored subject adds to the book’s allure, what stands out most is its cadenced narration and slangy dialogue, as conversations, both spoken and unspoken, snap, sizzle, and slide off the page."
--Publishers Weekly (starred)
"Edugyan tells this incredibly rich story of music, politics, and personal betrayal both subtly and dramatically, unveiling the mystery of what happened to Falk as she exposes the tensions between the band members and the secret that has been gnawing at one of them for half a century...Edugyan’s novel mixes palpable period atmosphere with an interpersonal drama of great emotional depth. That narrow moment in time when the freewheeling decadence of Weimar Germany gave way to jackbooted tyranny has been the subject of much fine fiction, but Edugyan is the first to overlay it with jazz history. It makes a sublime marriage ."
"A memorable evocation of the defiant thrill of jazz at a terrible time."
"The novel's surprising end, and Edugyan herself, are proof that the mischling experience beautifies art in all of its forms."