Johanna Skibsrud

Johanna Skibsrud photographed by Dan Davis
Johanna Skibsrud photographed by Dan Davis

Johanna Skibsrud authored ‘The Opening’.

Canadian Johanna Skibsrud’s first novel The Sentimentalists won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s most prestigious literary award. She is also the author of a collection of short stories and two collections of poetry. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Author Q& A

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?

It’s based on a dream that my husband had. Now that I’ve written the story, neither of us can remember what he dreamed and what I imagined.

When did you start writing?

I started writing poems and stories really young – around four or five. I got a lot of encouragement, luckily, from my mom and a few teachers, so I never really doubted that growing up to be a writer was something I could do.

Do you have a favourite genre?

To read? Probably the short story. To write? Novels. To think about? Poetry.

What’s your favourite book or short story?

An impossible question…but here’s a few: Nabokov’s Pale Fire, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, David Foster Wallace’s “Good Old Neon,” Carson McCullers’, “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.”, Delmore Schwartz’s “The Track Meet.”

What has been your biggest challenge as a writer?

Figuring out what order to put the words in.

Johanna’s new novel ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ was published by William Heinemann in October 2014.

Quartet for the End of Time