Esi Edugyan: 'You feel you are reading the best of world literature'
Novelist Edugyan talks about a childhood immersed in horror stories - and why she believes there is no such thing as ‘a Booker book’
Esi Edugyan, Chair of 2023 Booker Prize judges, is the internationally bestselling author of Washington Black, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Carnegie Medal for Literary Excellence, among others – and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
It was chosen by both the New York Times and Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2018. The epic Hulu/Disney TV series of Washington Black, starring Sterling K Brown and co-produced by Edugyan, is slated for release in Spring 2023.
Edugyan’s other novels include The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2011, as well as for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Half-Blood Blues won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.
Edugyan is also the author of Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home and more recently Out of the Sun: Essays at the Crossroads of Race, delivered in Canada as the Massey Lectures. Her first children’s book, Garden of Lost Socks, will be published next year by HarperCollins Canada.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Edugyan is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Victoria, where she now lives. She has held fellowships in the US, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain, and Belgium, and judged prizes including the Giller Prize with Margaret Atwood and Jonathan Lethem.