Thomas Mallon, Watergate
Judge: Brooke Lunee
For me, this was an easy choice. Half-Blood Blues grabbed my attention and kept it!! I was quite intrigued, drawn to Sid's voice - bad grammar and all. "I ain't sayin. I just sayin".
A very intriguing story. Half-Blood Blues begins in Berlin/Paris in the 1940's during Hitler's reign and toggles back and forth to a return trip back to Berlin in the 1990's. I enjoyed the back and forth between time periods to see who and what Chip and Sid were to who they became and the catalysts for their actions and lives. The book explores the lives of all type of blacks - American, Rhinelander and Octoroon in Berlin and the consequences of being "stateless" and worse yet, a Jazz musician. And of course, a woman is involved. Lastly there is the question of what happened to the most amazing young trumpet player of all time - did he die or is he really in Poland?
Winner: Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues