Joseph Skibell

Johanna Lawshea


A native Texan, Joseph Skibell lives mostly in his head. He is the author of three novels, A Blessing on the Moon, The English Disease, and A Curable Romantic; and another forthcoming nonfiction work, Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud. He has received numerous awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Sami Rohr Award in Jewish Literature, Story magazine’s Short Short-Story Prize, and the Turner Prize for First Fiction. His latest book of essays is My Father’s Guitar and Other Imaginary Things (Algonquin Books). Did Joseph Skibell’s father trick him when he offered his beautiful guitar and then delivered a not-so-beautiful one? Can it be that the telemarketer calling at dinnertime is a thoughtful, sensitive person also looking for a Utopian world? Can a father have any control over his teenage daughter’s sex life? Can a son have control over his father’s expectations? The award-winning writer ponders these and other bewildering questions in his first nonfiction book.