These loosely connected hypnotic stories about memory and desire, from Giller Prize winner Johanna Skibsrud, introduces us to an astonishing array of characters who time and again find themselves face to face with what they didn’t know they didn’t know, at the exact point of intersection between impossibility and desire.
A young maid at a hotel in France encounters a man who asks to paint her portrait, only later discovering that he is someone other than who we think he is. A divorced father who fears estrangement from his thirteen-year-old daughter allows her to take the wheel of his car, realising too late that he’s made a grave mistake. Taking readers from South Dakota to Paris, to Japan, into art galleries, foreign apartments, farms and beach hotels, This Will Be Difficult to Explain is a masterful and perceptive series of tales from one of fiction’s brightest new voices.
The characters in these note-perfect stories tend to make their most important discoveries by stumbling against them…The writing here is an absolute joy to read; clear, economical and condensed.
Funny, thoughtful and oblique, Skibsrud’s stories explode with sudden meaning.
What is it about Canada that keeps on producing some of the best short stories writers in the world? The latest of the younger generation and the most talked about is Johanna Skibsrud. It’s a name that might be hard to remember, but her stories are difficult to forget.