Half Blood Blues - Esi Edugyan
A novel by Esi Edugyan, the author of Washinton Black
The book is the story of the Hot Time Swingers, a popular jazz band, who has been forbidden to play by the Nazis.
The story's three main characters are Falk, Chip, and Sid. Falk is a twenty years old Afro-German trumpet player, Chip, a drummer, and Sid is a bass player, who takes you through the story. Both Chip and Sid are African-Americans from Baltimore. The story also features Louis Armstrong.
This story drove me through some experiences of People of African descent in Nazi Germany and France before and during the second world war. This is a subject that is rarely taught at schools, and almost completely erased from history books.
From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris, Sid leads the reader through a fascinating, little-known world as he describes the friendships, love affairs, and treacheries that led to Falk's incarceration in Sachsenhausen. Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues is a story about music and race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.
The way Esi Edugyan illustrated the scenes of late 1930s Germany and France and the people is worth commending. She made it so real that I felt like I was being drawn into that world.
I think Half Blood Blues should be a must-read for every Afro-Europeans and everyone who appreciates good literature.