In 1992 Berlin, Chip and Sid attend the film screening, but after Chip makes an astonishing revelation in the documentary about Hiero’s disappearance, Sid storms out of the theater and is ready to head back to Baltimore, not wanting anything more to do with his so-called friend. However, in a comedy of errors that Chip may or may not have staged, Sid once again reluctantly accompanies him, this time to Poland to seek out Hiero, and to right the wrong he committed back in Paris.
This novel interested me on a few levels. As I’m drawn to WWII era novels anyway, I found this one – giving the perspective of black Americans in Europe – to be rather original (at least to me). And the language used definitely created “the scene” for me; I could hear the way the characters spoke simply by the way Esi Edugyan wrote their dialogue.
The story? Well, I guess it’s sad — having to live with such a burden for so long can’t be good for anyone — but the parts where Sid and Chip are travelling are pretty funny. It’s also heartwarming, but I can’t explain why or that will spoil it for you.
This novel won the 2011 Giller Prize, Canada’s highest literary honor. I haven’t read any of the other books shortlisted (yet — a few are on Mount TBR), but I love the fact that a Canadian writer can still be considered as such when writing a novel with hardly any mention of Canada (Delilah is from Montreal, and that is the only Canadian reference I could find in the book). (Just waving my patriotic flag).