In the Scotiabank Giller Prizewinning author Johanna Skibsrud's new book, nine loosely connected and hypnotic stories introduce an unforgettable cast of characters. A young maid at a hotel in France encounters a man who asks to paint her portrait, only later discovering that the man is someone other than who she thinks. A divorced father, fearing estrangement from his thirteen-year-old daughter, allows her to take the wheel of his car, realizing too late that he's made a grave mistake. A Canadian girl and her French host stumble on the one story that transcends their language barrier. Youth confronted with the mutterings of old age, restlessness bounded by the muddy confines of a backyard garden, callow hope coming up against the exigencies of everyday life - these are life-defining moments that weave throughout the everyday lives of the remarkable characters in this book. Time and again they find themselves confronted with what they didn't know they didn't know, at the exact point of intersection between impossibility and desire. In This Will Be Difficult to Explain Skibsrud has created a series of masterful, perceptive tales.
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"Skibsrud, a poet and author of the Giller Prize-winning first novel The Sentimentalists, brings to these stories a poet's eye and the subtle shadings of some of our best practitioners, including Marilynne Robinson and Alice Munro." - Library Journal
"Skibsrud's economical, poetically aware stories reveal a writer comfortable with the form, and one who requires her readers to think." - Kirkus Reviews
"[Skibsrud's] prose is as taut as Alice Munro's, her plots as spare as Mavis Gallant's. Her characters have startlingly vivid inner lives Skibsrud's new book is just as assured [as her novel], and it has the same emotional punch." - Toronto Life
"Clearly Johanna Skibsrud is as at home in the short story form and my expectations have been more than met. I'm more intrigued by this author than ever before, and convinced that Ali Smith was onto something after all." - PickleMeThis
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Johanna Skibsrud is the author of two collections of poetry. The Sentimentalists, her first novel, won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada's most prestigious literary award. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. Visit her online at www.johannaskibsrud.com.
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