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.