In 1940, a talented young Afro-German musician is arrested by the Nazis in Paris and disappears. Fifty years later, his bandmate Sid recounts the event and revisits Berlin, the city where it all began. As jazz greats gather to honour his legendary friend’s memory, a haunting secret Sid’s held on to for decades finally comes to light, Edugyan’s beautiful prose gracefully blurs the line between history and fiction in this soulful, visceral read about race, music, hope and despair in the midst of the Second World War.
Half Blood Blues is the 2011 winner of the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan, $25.