Last couple of weeks I been keeping good company. Now it’s come to an end. Aw hell, I know what I’m suffering from: I got the Post Half Blood Blues Blues.
And then I find out that Esi Edugyan’s agent in Toronto shopped a first draft to more than a few American publishers some 18 months ago, including HarperCollins, the publisher with first option to buy (Half-Blood Blues was published by Serpent’s Tail in Britain) but none of them ain’t bit.
“What you sayin, kid?” Chip might have said. “You saying we should give it up? Hell, even at our worst we genius.”
Ms. Edugyan stuck with it. More fortunate in her native Canada, the novel was published by Thomas Allen to positive reviews. Fact is, American publishers only willin to take a second look after Ms. Edugyan’s novel was longlisted for the Man Booker. “It was when she was longlisted that we started a multiple submission,” her agent Ms. McDermid told The Observer. “We had it out with many, many people in New York.” When the book was then both shortlisted for the Man Booker and named as a finalist for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, a Canadian literary award, publishers suddenly saw dollar signs: ch-ching.
Just goes to show, as the great William Goldman said, “Nobody knows anything.”