For most of January, we've been discussing Half-Blood Blues in The Globe and Mail's first online book club. On Monday, our special guest, prize-winning author Esi Edugyan, will join us at noon ET to wrap up our ongoing conversation about the novel.
Besides winning the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Half-Blood Blues, about an inter-racial jazz band in the Second World War era, was short-listed for the Man Booker, the Governor-General's Award and the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prizes.
Edugyan, who was born and raised in Calgary, Alta., now lives in Victoria with her husband, novelist and poet Steven Price, and their infant daughter.
Two weeks ago, publisher Patrick Crean joined the discussion to tell us how he rescued Half-Blood Blues, after the novel's original publisher declared bankruptcy. Last week, musician and jazz expert David Lee chatted with us about jazz in Paris and Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s.
Having the author herself join us on Monday will be the best conclusion I can imagine to a wide-ranging discussion that has opened up the themes, the characters and the narrative of this rich and nuanced novel.
I have a much deeper understanding of the book now, the kind of insight that comes from puzzling through impressions and ideas with other readers. That's true for many of the other participants who have logged in, scrolled through the comments and responded to the daily question. I hope you will all join in the conversation with Esi Edugyan on Monday.