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Esi Edugyan at her home in her library north of Victoria, B.C. (Chad Hipolito/Chad Hipolito for The Globe And Mail.)
Esi Edugyan at her home in her library north of Victoria, B.C. (Chad Hipolito/Chad Hipolito for The Globe And Mail.)

My Books, My Place

Esi Edugyan escapes to the library (her library) Add to ...

Among my favourite places to read is the library in our home in Victoria, B.C. I love that it’s stuffed with books, and the smell of paper. It’s also the coolest room in the house, with all the cozy things you associate with reading. I have mounted poems by Michael Ondaatje and Gwendolyn MacEwen on opposite walls. I go in with a cup of tea, put some music on a junky old stereo we have and get lost in a book.

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These days, with a new baby and all the publicity, I’m getting through about two pages a day.

I’m reading Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff. I was attracted by the image of Cleopatra on the cover. She’s one of the most intriguing figures of history. I previously read Schiff’s Vera, a biography of Vladimir Nabokov’s wife. I generally enjoy literary biography, and this was a way of looking at a writer from a different angle.

I’m also rereading 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, which I read two years ago. It exploded my concept of the novel. I’ve bought every edition I could find: hardcover, soft cover, British edition, advance copies. It’s an astonishing work.

Esi Edugyan’s Half Blood Blues was short-listed for The Governor-General’s Fiction Award, adding to previous distinctions for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Man Booker Prize.

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