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Fiction Literary


by (author) Mauricio Segura

translated by Donald Winkler

Initial publish date
Jun 2018
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2018
    List Price

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Brad succumbs to the white plague, Oscar too spends his days fighting disease, confined to a hospital. Playing the organ at night for a mysterious sickly girl, he discovers his own talent, although years after recovery, he finds himself desperate, poor, and depressed—until the devil, otherwise known to the world as impresario Norman G, happens on him in a moment of crisis.

Inspired by the life of legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Mauricio Segura’s Oscar evokes periods across time, from the Depression-era Montreal neighbourhood of Little Burgundy to the swinging cabarets of the 1950s, while offering a reflection on the bonds between an artist and the Caribbean diaspora from which he comes. But above all, Oscar is a poignant homage to a musical giant, a man who changed the face of jazz forever.

About the authors

Mauricio Segura was born in Temuco, Chile in 1969 and immigrated to Quebec with his parents as a child. He studied economics at the Université de Montréal and French literature at McGill University. The author of two novels and a book about French perceptions of Latin America, Segura lives in Montreal, where he is well known as a journalist and commentator on immigrant issues.

Mauricio Segura's profile page

Donald Winkler was born in Winnipeg, graduated from the University of Manitoba, and did graduate study at the Yale School of Drama. From 1967 to 1995 he was a film director and writer at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, and since the 1980s, a translator of Quebec literature. In 1994, 2011, and 2013 he won the Governor General Award for French to English translation, and has been a finalist for the prize on three other occasions. His translation of Samuel Archibald's short story collection, "Arvida," was a finalist for the 2015 Giller Prize. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Donald Winkler's profile page

Editorial Reviews


"Bursts at the seams with historical events, colourful characters, and timeless themes...with its lilting strains of magical realism and strange sense of time, the book often recalls greats like Patrick Chamoiseau and Edwidge Danticat...with a keen eye to the history of Montreal and a knowing ear attuned to the ins and outs of swing and bebop, Segura shows both great force and a certain playfulness." —Montreal Review of Books

"An intriguing investigation into the life of one of Canada’s most iconic musicians... a fascinating work of fiction." —Toronto Star

"Story unravels in very creative ways...[an] enjoyable read...fascinating" —Jael Richardson on CBC Radio's q

"an enchanting and lyrical novel of the tragic consequences losing a loved one may have—and the dangers of impulsively grasping at greatness." —World Literature Today

Other titles by Mauricio Segura

Other titles by Donald Winkler