How does she do it?: Esi Edugyan

The 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner tells us how she balances her role as a writer and new mother

Age: 33
Child: Daughter, 4 months
Marital status: Married to poet and novelist Steven Price

On parenting:

What is your parenting philosophy?
Don’t tiptoe around a dozing child — she needs to be able to sleep through anything.

What is the most unexpected thing you discovered only after you became a parent?
How short the days get. The hours seem to slip away and, in any given day, there is always something unexpected.

What is the one parenting tool or trick you can’t do without?
Music. Our baby is really responsive to it.

What’s the best parenting advice you ever got?
Always pick up a crying child. You will not spoil her, and it will actually lead to less crying.

Does your daughter sleep through the night?
No.

When was the last time you looked around and thought, “This is a good moment”?
This morning.

On career:

What is your job status?
Practicing writer.

What do you do for child care?
My husband and I do it all between us, with a little help from the grandparents.

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On downtime:

What’s your favourite me-time activity to do?
Ashtanga yoga.

What are the three items you carry with you at all times?
Paperback book. Diaper bag. BlackBerry.

On food:

What is your typical weekend breakfast?
The same as my typical weekday breakfast — a quick bowl of yogurt, muesli and berries.

How would you describe a typical dinner in your home?
Rushed!

It’s 6 p.m. and you haven’t even thought about dinner: What do you do?
There’s always something to defrost or a quick pasta to be tossed together.

On technology:

What vehicle do you drive?
A 25-year-old Toyota Tercel.

Do you prefer an iPhone or BlackBerry?
I recently got a BlackBerry (the first mobile phone I’ve ever owned), and I like it. But as a devotee of Apple products in general, I could probably be swayed into using an iPhone.

Esi Edugyan lives in Victoria. Her novels include The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and the award-winning Half-Blood Blues.