Monday, October 11, 2010

What is Joseph Skibell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Joseph Skibell, author of the novels A Blessing on the Moon, The English Disease, and the newly published A Curable Romantic.

His entry begins:
Usually it’s a choice between reading or playing the guitar for me, and lately the guitar has been winning. So mostly I’ve been reading Bach’s Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin (Dover Publications). I’m working my way through the first fugue. In terms of difficulty, the piece is at the outer rim of my musical abilities. I don’t even have a classical guitar. I’ve been playing it on an Italian Plum-Colored Electric Parker Mojo Fly.

Though written for violin, the collection has long been a staple of the guitarist’s repertoire, a fact I learned reading – or rather rereading (I didn’t notice the detail the first time through) – Glenn Kurtz’s gorgeously written memoir Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music.

Kurtz was, from childhood on, an accomplished guitarist, dedicated, passionate, disciplined. Written with an astute eye and ear for detail, the memoir describes his first lessons at guitar camp, his time at the New England Conservatory of Music, his attempts to begin a solo career in Vienna, and even his...[read on]
Among the early praise for A Curable Romantic:
“While the characters struggle in their humanness, God weeps overhead and angels make deals with demons ... This is a funny, poignant, thoughtful, and ultimately satisfying work by an author who stands with the best of them.”
—Bruce Cockburn, singer/songwriter, guitarist, Slice o Life

“Brilliant ... Astonishingly original ... What life on earth might actually mean.”
—Dara Horn

“I loved the novel for its realism, for its romantic tension, and for its sentence by sentence brilliance.”
—Max Apple, author of Free Agents and The Oranging of America and Other Stories

“Joseph Skibell’s comic intelligence embraces fifty years of European Jewish history in a brilliant tour de force that is hilarious, insightful, and inventive.”
—Rodger Kamenetz, author of Burnt Books and The Jew in the Lotus

“Wholly original … intellectual comedy of the highest order.”
—J.M. Coetzee
Read more about A Curable Romantic and visit Joseph Skibell's website.

Writers Read: Joseph Skibell.

--Marshal Zeringue