Press release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Toronto; November 20, 2018)

HarperCollinsCanada is thrilled to announce that Esi Edugyan’s bestselling, internationally acclaimed novel Washington Black has won the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The announcement was made on November 19, 2018, at Toronto’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, at a black-tie ceremony hosted by Rick Mercer. Edugyan, having previously won the Giller Prize in 2011 for her novel Half-Blood Blues, is only the third author to win the prestigious award a second time, and the only author ever to win the prize for two consecutive novels.

The esteemed five-member jury panel wrote of Washington Black, “How often history asks us to underestimate those trapped there. This remarkable novel imagines what happens when a black man escapes history’s inevitable clasp—in his case, in a hot air balloon, no less. Washington Black, the hero of Esi Edugyan’s novel, is born in the 1800s in Barbados with a quick mind, a curious eye, and a yearning for adventure. In conjuring Black’s vivid and complex world—as cruel empires begin to crumble and the frontiers of science open like astounding vistas—Edugyan has written a supremely engrossing novel about friendship and love and the way identity is sometimes a far more vital act of imagination than the age in which one lives.”

Washington Black was also a finalist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. On her Scotiabank Giller Prize win, Edugyan said, “I just have to say that in a climate where so many forms of truth telling are under siege, this feels like a really wonderful and important celebration of words.”

About HarperCollins Publishers

HarperCollins in Canada:

Known worldwide for the quality of its list, HarperCollinsCanada is the proud home of many bestselling authors, including Esi Edugyan, Heather O’Neill, Lawrence Hill, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Mark Sakamoto, Ayelet Tsabari, Emily St. John Mandel, Tracey Lindberg, Tara Westover, Hilary Mantel, Rachel Cusk, Anthony Horowitz, Uzma Jalaluddin, Kim Fu, Carrianne Leung, Ellen Keith, Jael Richardson, Emma Donoghue, Helen Humphreys, and Thomas King, among many more found at

HarperCollins Publishers is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With 200 years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages and has a print and digital catalogue of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the RBC Taylor Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and can be visited online at

Date Posted

November 20, 2018


Jaclyn Hodsdon




Jaclyn Hodsdon

[email protected]