Joseph Skibell

Joseph Skibell

Joseph Skibell's debut novel, A Blessing on the Moon, received the prestigious Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. A Book of the Month Club selection, the book was named one of the year's best by Publishers Weekly, Le Monde and, and has been translated into half a dozen languages. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Patrick Giles, said of A Blessing on the Moon: "Daring in its haunting, often painful honesty, dense in thoughtful observation and unsparing incident, the novel is confirmation that no subject lies beyond the grasp of a gifted, committed imagination." The novel is being adapted into an opera. Skibell's second novel, The English Disease, received the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. According to the Jerusalem Report: "Skibell's latest is a witty and profound, moving and comic portrait of a crabby, middle-aged musicologist with a typically Jewish, post-Holocaust worldview. As he did in his first work, Skibell makes the potentially stale fresh, thanks to incisive, original images that redeem and shed new glimpses on what may, at first, appear to be old themes. Skibell succeeds, all the while giving us a complex work that, in testament to his gifts as a storyteller, is always a joy to read." Skibell's third novel is A Curable Romantic. Advance praise for the book includes: “Skibell’s wit and comic invention are infused with a mystical perspective that embraces every dimension of the Jewish soul” (Rodger Kamenetz); “Brilliant … astonishingly original … what life on earth might actually mean” (Dara Horn); “An epic love story… I loved the novel for its realism, for its romantic tension and for its sentence by sentence brilliance” (Max Apple); “Wholly original … intellectual comedy of the highest order” (J.M. Coetzee); “A funny, poignant, thoughtful and ultimately satisfying work by an author who stands with the best of them” (Bruce Cockburn). In addition, his work has been widely anthologized and his short stories and essays have appeared in Story, Tikkun, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, and other periodicals. A recipient of a Halls Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Skibell has taught at the University of Wisconsin, the Humber School for Writers, the Taos Summer Writers Conference, and Bar-Ilan University. He joined the English Department/Creative Writing Program at Emory University in 1999, and is currently working on a book of essays about the tales in the Talmud. Joseph Skibell is the director of Emory's Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature, and he has been invited to give the inaugural readings in the Jewish Literature Series at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.
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