Photograph by Christine Whelan-Hachey

Photograph by Christine Whelan-Hachey

Johanna Skibsrud is a Canadian-American writer, whose debut novel, The Sentimentalists, was awarded the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, making her the youngest writer to ever win Canada’s most prestigious literary prize. 

The New York Times Book Review describes her second novel, Quartet for the End of Time (2014) as a haunting exploration of “the complexity of human relationships and the myriad ways in which identity can be malleable.” “[It] is exhilarating,” writes Joanna Scutts of the Washington Post, “to join a novelist working at these bracing heights.”

Johanna is also the author of a third novel, Island (Hamish Hamilton Canada 2019), two collection of short fiction, Tiger, Tiger (shortlisted for the Alistair Macleod Prize for Short Fiction) 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 -- proceeds of which are being donated to the Himalayan School Project. She has also published three books of poetry, Late Nights with Wild Cowboys (2008; shortlisted for Canada's Gerald Lampert Award for best first poetry collection by a Canadian author),  I Do Not Think that I Could Love a Human Being (2011; shortlisted for the Atlantic Poetry Prize) and The Description of the World (2016; awarded the 2017 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, the 2017 Fred Cogswell Award, and shortlisted for the 2017 Pat Lowther Award).  Skibsrud’s non-fiction titles include The nothing that is”: Essays on Art, Literature and Being (Book*hug 2019), and The Poetic Imperative: A Speculative Aesthetics (forthcoming in Spring 2020 from McGill-Queen’s University Press).

Johanna was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1980. She received her BA in English Literature at the University of Toronto, her MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University in Montreal, and her PhD in English Literature at the Université de Montréal.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona where she teaches twentieth century literature and poetics.