Johanna Skibsrud wins Giller Prize for The Sentimentalists

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Johanna Skibsrud wins Giller Prize for The Sentimentalists

Nov 10 2010

Johanna Skibsrud is the winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, worth Canadian $50,000 honoring the best in Canadian literature.

Her voice quavering, the 30-year-old Nova Scotian thanked her publisher Gaspereau Press, which brought out her first novel, The Sentimentalists, in a tiny edition of a few hundred copies.

Ms. Skibsrud thanked her father, Olav, a Vietnam war veteran whose story she tells in the book. "I can't imagine how proud he would have been," she said.

The Sentimentalists connects the flooding of an Ontario town, the Vietnam War, a trailer in North Dakota and an unfinished boat in Maine. Parsing family history, worn childhood memories, and the palimpsest of old misunderstandings, Skibsrud's narrator maps her father's past.

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