This Will Be Difficult to Explain, By Johanna Skibsrud


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The Independent Culture

The author of two books of poetry, Skibsrud hit the bestseller lists in her native Canada with her debut novel The Sentimentalists – an account of a Vietnam veteran's relationship with his daughter.

In this collection of stories, family difficulties again surface with memorable consequences.

In the title story, a drunk father takes his children for a car ride and runs over a dog; in "French Lessons", a young American in Paris listens while an elderly widow recounts the details of her son's suicide.

Funny, thoughtful and oblique, Skibsrud's stories explode with sudden meaning.