Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Father's Guitar and Other Imaginary Things

My Father's GuitarIdgie Says:
A slim book of random memories from Joseph.  Some are amusing, some go to the heart.  There are stories that are quite short and some more detailed, taking a full chapter's worth of pages.  

Not a book to really think about, more one to sit down and just enjoy listening to the man on the other side of the page tell his memories of life.   Good for tiny bits of time where you can sneak in a few pages only.

Algonquin Books
October 27, 2015

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? Skibell ponders these and other bewildering questions in My Father’s Guitar and Other Imaginary Things.

Each essay stands alone as a story in Skibell’s life, yet these moments strung together are what define him as a person: his father’s illness, his daughter’s transition from a little girl to a woman, his realization of the limitations of memory. Told with wit, deep personal insight, and even self-deprecating humor, each story amuses and delights.

“Taken together,” says Skibell, “these stories are about those little overlooked but extraordinary moments in ordinary life, the sort of ‘imaginary’ aspects of ‘real’ life, the strange coincidences, the odd encounters, the things we tell and don’t tell each other about ourselves.” The pleasure in these pieces is accepting, with Skibell, that life is made up of these stories, even when they’re imagined or misunderstood—and these are what make us who we are. My Father’s Guitar and Other Imaginary Things will make you laugh, make you think, and make you view the world through Skibell’s quirky lens.

JOSEPH SKIBELL is the author of three novels, A Blessing on the Moon, The English Disease, A Curable Romantic, and the forthcoming nonfiction work, Six Memos From the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud. He has won the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Turner Prize for First Fiction. Recently a Senior Fellow at the Bill & Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, he is the Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities at Emory University. A native Texan, he lives in Atlanta and Tesuque, New Mexico. Learn more at