Award-winning authors visiting NIC

Esi Edugyan and Steven Price will read from their most recent works as part of North Island College's Write Here Readers Series.

North Island College’s Write Here Readers Series presents award-winning authors Esi Edugyan and Steven Price, who will read from their most recent works, Half Blood Blues and Into That Darkness.

Edugyan’s Half Blood Blues, won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and the Roger’s Writers Trust Fiction Prize. It was also longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for fiction.

“The novel is a quintessentially human story, rich in well-drawn characters, primal emotional conflict, and a battered, flawed camaraderie. It is an exploration of the impact of history on individuals, of how moments of grace get lost in a world of hatred, how fear imperils any sense of dignity, and how friendships can form between the most disparate people. It is a stunning, powerful read, a compelling story brilliantly told,” writes Robert J. Wiersema of Quill & Quire.

Price’s first book, Anatomy of Keys, a poetic biography of Harry Houdini, won the Gerald Lampert Award, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize, and was named a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year. His second book and first novel, Into That Darkness, is set on Vancouver Island.

In his review of Into That Darkness for the National Post, Wiersema writes, “Into That Darkness, the brilliant debut novel from prize-winning Victoria poet Steven Price, takes the unimaginable and makes it real — terrifyingly so. By immersing readers within a world torn asunder, without voice-overs and commentaries and 1-800-to-donate lines, Price lays bare both the horror of a natural disaster and the utterly real human reactions, for good and ill.”

Edugyan was born and raised in Calgary to Ghanaian immigrant parents, she studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University before publishing her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, in 2004. She has held fellowships in the U.S., Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain, and Belgium.

Price was born and raised in Colwood, B.C. He holds degrees from the University of Victoria and the University of Virginia. His work has appeared in Canadian and American literary journals and he is one of the poets in Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, edited by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane.

NIC’s Write Here Readers Series began in 2010 and continues to showcase authors from Vancouver Island, allowing students and community members to discover a region rich in stories and storytellers.

“The series has afforded an extraordinary opportunity to hear important Canadian writers read from and talk about their work and has added to this region’s reputation as a place where the literary arts are thriving,” comments Sheree-Lee Powsey, an English instructor at NIC.

“To welcome such celebrated authors as Esi and Steven to North Island College is an honour, and a real treat for our students and our communities,” she adds. “We look forward to full houses in both the Comox Valley and Campbell River.”

Edugyan and Price will read in the Stan Hagen Theatre on NIC’s Comox Valley campus on Feb 13 and in the theatre at the Campbell River campus on Feb. 14.

Both readings begin at 7 p.m., are free to attend and are open to the community. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

NIC acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.  For more information about Esi Edugyan and Steven Price’s readings or the Write Here Readers Series please contact Susan Auchterlonie at 250-334-5271.

— Write Here Readers Series

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