Out of the Sun

Out of the Sun

On Race and Storytelling

Written by: Edugyan, Esi

An insightful exploration and moving meditation on identity, art, and belonging from one of the most celebrated writers of the last decade.

 What happens when we begin to consider stories at the margins, when we grant them centrality? How does that complicate our certainties about who we are, as individuals, as nations, as human beings? Through the lens of visual art, literature, film, and the author’s lived experience, Out of the Sun examines Black histories in art, offering new perspectives to challenge us.

In this groundbreaking, reflective, and erudite book, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner and internationally bestselling author Esi Edugyan illuminates myriad varieties of Black experience in global culture and history. Edugyan combines storytelling with analyses of contemporary events and her own personal story in this dazzling first major work of non-fiction.

An insightful exploration and moving meditation on identity, art, and belonging from one of the most celebrated writers of the last decade.

 What happens when we begin to consider stories at the margins, when we grant them centrality? How does that complicate our certainties about who we are, as individuals, as nations, as human beings? Through the lens of visual art, literature, film, and the author’s lived experience, Out of the Sun examines Black histories in art, offering new perspectives to challenge us.

In this groundbreaking, reflective, and erudite book, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner and internationally bestselling author Esi Edugyan illuminates myriad varieties of Black experience in global culture and history. Edugyan combines storytelling with analyses of contemporary events and her own personal story in this dazzling first major work of non-fiction.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc - Sep 28, 2021
Specifications 304 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
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Excerpt

PRAISE FOR OUT OF THE SUN

“Distinguished by its erudite yet unpretentious prose and probing viewpoints, this is an essential reckoning with how history is made.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“This sensitive exploration of racialized people brings ghosts of erased lives out from the shadows and lays them on top of one another in a double exposure of how othering functions in our lives. It performs a kind of haunting, throwing tender light on the fictions that divide us.” — Tessa McWatt, author of Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging

PRAISE FOR WASHINGTON BLACK

International Bestseller

Winner, Scotiabank Giller Prize 

Finalist, Booker Prize 

Finalist, Carnegie Medal

Finalist, International Dublin Literary Award 

Finalist Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize 

“Terrifically exciting … An engrossing hybrid of 19th-century adventure and contemporary subtlety, a rip-roaring tale of peril imbued with our most persistent strife … Discover what the rest of the world already knows: Edugyan is a magical writer.” — Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“Riveting … [A] towering achievement … Edugyan is one of our sharpest and deepest writers of historical fiction.” — David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

“A lush, exhilarating travelogue reminiscent of Jules Verne … Edugyan, like her hero, can paint an indelible scene.” — Laura Miller, The New Yorker

“Gripping … Astonishing … Washington Black’s presence in these pages is fierce and unsettling. His urge to live all he can is matched by his eloquence.” — Colm Toibin, New York Times Book Review 

“A wonder of an adventure story, powered by the helium of fantasy, but also by the tender sensibility of its aspiring young hero, Wash Black … Much of the pleasure of reading Washington Black derives from Edugyan’s ingenious storytelling gifts, but her novel is more than just a buoyant bauble … Washington Black is an unconventional and often touching novel about the search for transcendence above categories.” Maureen Corrigan, NPR/Fresh Air

“As harrowing a portrayal of slavery as Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, but also a globe-trotting, page-turning adventure story. A historical epic with much to say about the present-day world.” — Justine Jordan, Guardian

“A daring work of empathy and imagination, featuring a Barbados slave boy in the 1830s who flees barbaric cruelty in a hot-air balloon and embarks on a life of adventure that is wondrous, melancholy, and strange.” — New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“Exquisite.” — Boris Kachka, New York magazine

“A full-pelt adventure story featuring hot-air balloon crashes, blizzards in the Arctic, scientific discovery, knife fights in dark alleys, bounty hunters, and forbidden romance, it has the seemingly old-fashioned qualities of being gripping and plot-driven, as well as a novel of ideas … Surprisingly uplifting.” — Francesca Angelini, The Times (London)

“Magnificent … By placing a black slave at the heart and centre of this epic romp, by making Wash the explorer of lands, science and art, Edugyan reclaims long-lost terrain in this ambitious, head-spinning work.” — Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times

“A gripping historical narrative exploring both the bounds of slavery and what it means to be truly free.” — Vanity Fair

“Masterful … Wondrous … Gripping … Edugyan’s depiction of this dark period is vivid and captivating. [She] is too subtle a novelist to belabour her story’s contemporary relevance, but, like the moral stain of human bondage, it is palpable all the same. At a time when blackness still invites unwarranted violence, young Wash’s hard lessons resonate.” — The Economist

 

PRAISE FOR HALF-BLOOD BLUES

International Bestseller

Winner, Scotiabank Giller Prize

Finalist, Man Booker Prize 

Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award

An Oprah Magazine Best Book of the Year

 

“Unforgettable … Brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed. It’s a work that promises to lead black literature in a whole new direction.” — Globe and Mail

“A superbly atmospheric prologue kick-starts a thrilling story about truth and betrayal … [A] brilliantly fast-moving novel.” — The Times

“Shines with knowledge, emotional insight, and historical revisionism … Truly extraordinary in its evocation of time and place, its shimmering jazz vernacular, its pitch-perfect male banter and its period slang.” — The Independent

“Ingenious.” — Daily Telegraph

“Destined to win a wide audience … Deftly paced in incident and tone, moving from scenes of snappy dialogue, in which band members squabble and banter humorously, to tense, atmospheric passages of description … Edugyan makes fresh tracks in this richly-imagined story … Half-Blood Blues itself represents a kind of flowering — that of a gifted storyteller.” — Toronto Star