The Sentimentalists (novel)

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The Sentimentalists
The Sentimentalists (novel).jpg
Author Johanna Skibsrud
Genre novel
Publisher Gaspereau Press,
Douglas & McIntyre, W.W. Norton & Co.
Publication date
1st American ed. in 2011
Pages216 pages
Awards2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize
ISBN 9781553658955
OCLC 687886506

The Sentimentalists is a novel by Canadian writer Johanna Skibsrud that was the winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize. [1] [2]

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Johanna Skibsrud Canadian writer

Johanna Shively Skibsrud is a Canadian writer, whose debut novel The Sentimentalists won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize.



The novel's protagonist is an unnamed young woman, who seeks to understand her relationship with her father better by investigating his experience in the Vietnam War. [3]

Vietnam War 1955–1975 conflict in Vietnam

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war, considered a Cold War-era proxy war by some, lasted 19 years, with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist in 1975.

Publishing delays

The book had been rejected by several larger publishing houses before being picked up by Gaspereau Press, a boutique firm based in Nova Scotia which is one of Canada's few book publishing companies that still binds and prints its own books, and was published in an initial print run of just 800 copies. [4] However, the novel's Giller Prize win pushed sales demand for the novel well beyond the 1,000 copies per week that Gaspereau could produce on its own, with the result that the book was virtually unavailable in stores. 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 for Kobo devices, outselling even George W. Bush's memoir Decision Points . [5]

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.

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.

Gaspereau subsequently announced that it had sold the novel's trade paperback rights to Douglas & McIntyre, while Gaspereau would continue to print a smaller run of the novel's original edition for book collectors. [6] The Douglas & McIntyre edition retailed for $19.95, while the original Gaspereau edition sold for $27.95. [7] The Douglas & McIntyre edition of the novel arrived in stores on November 25, 2010, fifteen days after the novel's Giller Prize victory was announced. [8]

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

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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. "Review: Johanna Skibsrud's protagonist in The Sentimentalists finds that some mysteries are unsolvable". The Gazette , November 13, 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. "Owners return to hand publishing 'The Sentimentalists'". CTV News, November 18, 2010.
  8. "Giller winner hits stores today". Toronto Star , November 25, 2010.