Johanna Skibsrud

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Johanna Skibsrud
Meadowville, Nova Scotia
Occupationnovelist, poet
Notable works The Sentimentalists
Notable awards Scotiabank Giller Prize
2010 The Sentimentalists

Johanna Shively Skibsrud (born 1980) is a Canadian writer, whose debut novel The Sentimentalists won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize. [1] [2]

Debut novel first published by an author

A debut novel is the first novel a novelist publishes. Debut novels are often the author's first opportunity to make an impact on the publishing industry, and thus the success or failure of a debut novel can affect the ability of the author to publish in the future. First-time novelists without a previous published reputation, such as publication in nonfiction, magazines, or literary journals, typically struggle to find a publisher.

<i>The Sentimentalists</i> (novel) book by Johanna Skibsrud

The Sentimentalists is a novel by Canadian writer Johanna Skibsrud that was the winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize.



Skibsrud has published two books of poetry, Late Nights with Wild Cowboys in 2008 and I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being in 2010. Late Nights with Wild Cowboys was a shortlisted nominee for the Gerald Lampert Award, [3] and I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being was a shortlisted nominee for the Atlantic Poetry Prize.

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is made annually by the League of Canadian Poets to the best volume of poetry published by a first-time poet. It is presented in honour of poetry promoter Gerald Lampert. Each winner receives an honorarium of $1000.

The Sentimentalists

In 2009 Skibsrud's debut novel The Sentimentalists was published by Gaspereau Press. The novel won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Gaspereau Press is a Canadian book publishing company, based in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Established in 1997 by Andrew Steeves and Gary Dunfield, the company's philosophy emphasizes "making books that reinstate the importance of the book as a physical object", maintaining control over the design and the manufacturing quality of its titles as one of the few Canadian publishing houses that continues to print and bind its own books in-house.

Skibsrud's Giller win also focused attention on the struggles of small press publishers. The book had been originally published by Gaspereau Press, a boutique firm based in Nova Scotia which is one of Canada's only book publishing companies that still binds and prints its own books, with the result that the firm had difficulty meeting the increased demand after Skibsrud's win was announced. [4] Chapters-Indigo, Canada's primary bookstore chain, did not have a single copy of the book in stock anywhere in Canada in the entire week of the Giller announcement. [4] However, the paper book's unavailability resulted in a significant increase in ebook sales; the ebook version of the novel quickly became the top-selling title in the Kobo ebookstore. [5] The company subsequently announced that it had sold the novel's trade paperback rights to Douglas & McIntyre, while it will continue to print a smaller run of the novel's original edition for book collectors. [6]

Indigo Books and Music Canadian book and gift retailer

Indigo Books & Music Inc., usually known as "Indigo" and stylized "!ndigo" is a Canadian bookstore chain. It is Canada's largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, operating stores in all ten provinces and one territory, and through a website offering a selection of books, toys, home décor, stationery and gifts. Most Chapters and Indigo stores include a Starbucks cafe inside. This does not include Coles and IndigoSpirit stores.

Kobo eReader family of e-readers from Kobo, Inc.

The Kobo eReader is an e-reader produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. The company's name is an anagram of "book". The original version was released in May 2010 and was marketed as a minimalist alternative to the more expensive e-book readers available at the time. Like most e-readers, the Kobo uses an electronic ink screen.

Douglas & McIntyre is an imprint of the Canadian book publishing firm Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Ltd.

In spring 2011, The Sentimentalists was published in the United States by W. W. Norton & Company. The book has been translated, or is currently being translated, into five languages.

Skibsrud's first collection of short stories, This Will Be Difficult to Explain, and Other Stories, was first published in September 2011 by Hamish Hamilton Canada, with US and UK editions of the book appearing in spring 2012.

Quartet for the End of Time

In 2014 Skibsrud's second novel, Quartet for the End of Time , was published by Hamish Hamilton. [7]

<i>Quartet for the End of Time</i> (novel) book by Johanna Skibsrud

Quartet for the End of Time is a 2014 novel by Giller Prize–winning author Johanna Skibsrud. The novel takes its name and structure from Quatuor pour la fin du temps, a piece of chamber music by the French composer Olivier Messiaen.

Hamish Hamilton British book publishing house

Hamish Hamilton Limited was a British book publishing house, founded in 1931 eponymously by the half-Scot half-American Jamie Hamilton. Jamie Hamilton was often referred to as Hamish Hamilton.


Skibsrud is a 2005 Master of Arts graduate from Concordia University's creative writing program; A version of The Sentimentalists was first written for her thesis. [8] She completed her Ph.D. in English Literature at the Université de Montréal in spring 2012 and currently holds a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona. [9]

A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.

Université de Montréal university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Université de Montréal is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university's main campus is located on the northern slope of Mount Royal in the neighbourhoods of Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges. The institution comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal. It offers more than 650 undergraduate programmes and graduate programmes, including 71 doctoral programmes.

Personal life

A native of Meadowville, Nova Scotia, [10] Skibsrud currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. [11] [12]

Skibsrud is married to John Melillo, a professor at the University of Arizona. [13]




Related Research Articles

Giller Prize award

The Giller Prize, is a literary award given to a Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English the previous year, after an annual juried competition between publishers who submit entries. The prize was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife Doris Giller, a former literary editor at the Toronto Star, and is awarded in November of each year along with a cash reward.

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<i>Late Nights on Air</i> book by Elizabeth Hay

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  1. "Scotiabank Giller Prize". Scotiabank Giller Prize , November 9, 2010.
  2. "The Sentimentalists wins Giller Prize". BBC Online . 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010.
  3. "Johanna Skibsrud wins Giller Prize". . 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010.
  4. 1 2 "Author's angst grows over unavailability of Giller winner". The Globe and Mail , November 11, 2010.
  5. "Scarcity of Giller-winning ‘Sentimentalists’ a boon to eBook sales". Toronto Star , November 12, 2010.
  6. "Deal clears way for Skibsrud’s Giller novel to ship this week". Toronto Star , November 15, 2010.
  7. "Quartet for the End of Time". W. W. Norton & Company. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  8. Medley, Mark (10 November 2010). "Debut novelist Skibsrud snags Giller Prize". The Gazette . Archived from the original on 10 November 2010.
  9. Wagner, Vit (9 November 2010). "Johanna Skibsrud wins the coveted Giller for 'The Sentimentalists'". Toronto Star . Archived from the original on 10 November 2010.
  10. "Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Shortlist 2009" (PDF). The League of Canadian Poets. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 November 2010.
  11. "Skibsrud captures $50,000 Giller Prize". The Chronicle Herald. 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010.
  12. "The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud". Gaspereau Press. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010.
  13. BARBER, JOHN. "Johanna Skibsrud: The writer, the prize, the year after". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 November 2014.