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REVIEW | Esi Edugyan’s five essays feel like a dream and read like an impressionist painting

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Esi Edugyan. (Photo: Supplied)
Esi Edugyan. (Photo: Supplied)

BOOK: Out of the Sun: Essays at the Crossroads of Race by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail)

Out of the Sun centres little-known stories of race through five pieces of travelogue/memoir/history lessons that have also formed part of a lecture series. This sounds confusing, but the multi-award-winning author describes the effect she’s going for in the book’s introduction: “In The Art of War, Sun Tzu explains how an army should use the sun to its advantage,” emerging from sunlight into its opponents’ disorientated field of vision. “Flooded by light, the eye struggles to see clearly. Edges are overshadowed, and it becomes difficult to know what, if anything, is there.” She says she has always liked the image of the hidden “coming suddenly into view”, which is reminiscent of Impressionism’s focus on movement and light.

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