AU Writer-in-Residence Esi Edugyan to give inaugural lecture

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Esi Edugyan, Athabasca University's 2015-16 Writer in Residence. She is the Scotiabank Giller prize winning author for 2011's Half-Blood Blues.

Esi Edugyan, Athabasca University’s 2015-16 Writer in Residence. She is the Man Booker Prize-nominated author for 2011’s Half-Blood Blues.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to feature the inaugural talk of Esi Edugyan, Athabasca University’s 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence/Writer for Health on January 26 at AU’s Edmonton office.

Esi is an award-winning writer and novelist whose second novel, Half-Blood Blues, was nominated for the the prestigious Man Booker Prize, and received the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, among other awards and nominations in the fiction category.

Hailed as one of the best books of the year by Oprah, Half-Blood Blues was also critically acclaimed by The Globe and Mail, Amazon, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Vancouver Sun, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

“On Folly: Some Thoughts on Fiction.”

  • Date: January 26, 2016
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: AU-Edmonton 1222

Light refreshments will be served.

Note: The Adobe Connect link will be sent out closer to the date of the presentation.

Esi’s Lecture Abstract

“This lecture will explore my individual philosophy of fiction. No two writers are likely to agree on their own sense of the art. This is partly what makes literature such a complicated, beautiful, living tradition.

I believe there is room for many different kinds of writing and that it is through our differences that the most interesting understandings are reached.

HalfBloodBlues.hirezI will discuss my own personal sense of the art of fiction, the notions that I hold to, or try to. There is such a thing as good writing and bad writing, strong and weak. Some bad books are very enjoyable and diverting; this makes them no less bad. Good writing is marked by its fidelity to its own making, and to the relationship between that making and the living world of the reader. The craft of fiction concerns itself with making a narrative compelling; the art of fiction concerns itself with making a thing true. The craft can be taught; the art can only be learned.

Some other topics include Originality (originality is to be admired only to the extent that it serves a story’s intentions, rather than the author’s); Completions (a work of fiction is never finished, only abandoned); Cultural Appropriation (imagination lies at the heart of this endeavor; as such, the problem of cultural appropriation is a complicated and aggressive one for an artist. The author must not shy from telling “another’s” story, but should be careful to tell it truthfully). Fiction is the exploration of character; that is, the exploration of empathy.”

To learn more about Esi and her literary work, please visit the Writer-in-Residence website 


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