Esi Edugyan won the 2011 winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Half-Blood Blues, published by Thomas Allen Publishers.

Here’s what the Giller jury wrote about the winning book: “”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 Blues” – these two works of art belong together.”