Book Brahmin: Esi Edugyan

Esi Edugyan's most recent novel, Half-Blood Blues (Picador, February 28, 2012), won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Award for Fiction. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

On your nightstand now:

'Twixt Land and Sea by Joseph Conrad. I'm on "The Secret Sharer" right now, which I can't believe I haven't read before. Conrad is an absolute master of atmospherics. I'm also reading What to Expect: The First Year.

Favorite book when you were a child:

A.A. Milne's When We Were Young. It was my sister's favourite book; I would snatch it up before bedtime and be delighted when she couldn't find it.

Your top five authors:

Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Mordecai Richler and Roberto Bolaño.

Book you've faked reading:

Half-Blood Blues.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Roberto Bolaño's 2666. I've bought countless copies and thrust them on everyone I know. He breaks all the rules to splendid effect.

Book you've bought for the cover:

David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

Book that changed your life:

Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. This was one of the first "adult" books I read. After years of dross, it was a revelation.

Favorite line from a book:

"The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it." --V.S. Naipaul.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

photo ©Steven Price

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