Happy Publishing Story

A novel that, less than a year ago, was without a Canadian publisher has won the country’s most prestigious literary prize. Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues, about a jazz musician who disappears in Nazi-occupied France, was awarded the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize Tuesday evening, capping an unlikely run that has seen the Calgary-born novelist rise from obscurity to become one of the season’s most buzzed about authors.

via Quillblog | Quill & Quire.

Half-Blood Blues was supposed to be published by Key-Porter, whose parent company went bankrupt. There was Edugyan’s second novel, in limbo. She faced a writer’s nightmare, re-acquiring her rights and starting again. But talent paid out, and so did luck as the novel was quickly picked up by a smart and independent Canadian publisher, Thomas Allen. A 2nd big print run is in the works.

And I’m so glad, though I bought Half-Blood Blues before the Giller win–occasionally I peg it right.

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6 thoughts on “Happy Publishing Story

  1. So it won the Giller! I thought it would, though I have yet to read it. There was just something about the descriptions, and also the media buzz. I’m glad it did. I really want to read it. That’s a very interesting story, about it’s background. Very sad about Key Porter, but a triumph in the end for Edugyan.

    1. Writers have so many worries–it’s heartening to see that even when those worries come to pass, that there can be a good outcome, even better than what could be anticipated.

  2. I didn’t know this. The book is doing very well in UK too. A heartening story.

    1. I’m glad to hear that–it’s interesting what does well in different countries.

  3. This is good to hear – my friend Jeff Bursey, who published his novel recently had the same thing happen to him. All set to go, and then the publisher went down the tube. It took him many years to find another publisher, although he did in the end (eventually, after much questing and heartache, etc).

    1. That’s such a difficult position to be in. I hope he had a good experience with his 2nd publisher.

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