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 Amazon.com, and has been translated into half a dozen languages.
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Patrick Giles said of the book: "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."
Skibell's second novel, The English Disease, received the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. The Jerusalem Report called it: "... witty and profound, moving and comic .... Skibell succeeds, 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, A Curable Romantic, received the coveted Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature Choice Award.
The New Republic called the book "a high-energy, wild performance"; and the Forward said, "This magnificent novel ... is surprisingly laugh-outloud humorous." Nobel-Prize Winner JM Coetzee called it, "Wholly original ... intellectual comedy of the highest order"; while the New York Journal of Books said, "This is a brave novel, unafraid to undertake big themes and ideas ... hugely accomplished." (More reviews are here.)
Skibell's work has been widely anthologized. His short stories and essays have appeared in Story, Tikkun, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, among many other periodicals. He is the author of a one-man play entitled 10 Faces, and he collaborated on the libretto for an opera based on A Blessing on the Moon with the composer Andy Teirstein.
A recipient of a Halls Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Skibell was inducted into the Sami Rohr Literary Institute in 2011. He 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 the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature. He will be teaching during Fall 2011 at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin.