“Everybody loves a good underdog story, and long shots don’t come much longer than a first novel with an initial print run of 800 winning the country’s most prestigious literary prize,” wrote the National Post upon the announcement that Canadian-American writer Johanna Skibsrud had won the prize for her debut novel, The Sentimentalists

Johanna’s books invite thoughtfulness and reflection. She says, “I like that literature can … cause us to slow down and actually notice the structure and rhythm of language and, therefore, also of the world around us.” Her novel Quartet for the End of Time was praised by The New York Times Book Review as an exploration of “the complexity of human relationships and the myriad ways in which identity can be malleable.”

Johanna is also the author of two collections of short fiction, Tiger, Tiger and This Will Be Difficult to Explain and Other Stories (shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award), and the co-author of a children’s book, Sometimes We Think You are a Monkey. She has also published three award-winning or -nominated books of poetry and the forthcoming essay collection The Nothing That Is: Essays on Art, Literature and Being.

Her latest novel, The Island, draws on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, depicting a revolution on an imaginary island, and exploring essential questions of history and responsibility.

Johanna was born in Nova Scotia and is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona, where she teaches twentieth-century literature and poetics.

Appearing in: 16. International Marquee
Website: www.johannaskibsrud.com
Book: www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/561423/island-by-johanna-skibsrud