A collection of intrepid and incisive stories from the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sentimentalists
Tiger, Tiger takes readers from the Paradise Valley Senior Centre parking lot all the way to Mars and examines the contradictions of life along the way. An astounding array of characters come up against the challenges of existence--both mundane and extraordinary--and their experiences never fail to surprise and delight.
A scientist finds the truth about love in a lab where he is learning to grow extinct tigers. A fake wedding at a nursing home brings a divorcée to the brink of despair while her grandmother marvels at the beauty around her. A small-town taxidermist realizes his fiancée is never returning--that he has lost her to an inscrutable ball of light. A soldier survives the bloody Battle of the Argonne Forest but loses the faith of his child. An uncanny teenager holds two hundred thousand years of the world's history in her mind but feels desperately alone.
Profound and paradoxical, these fourteen stories bring us closer to the truth, even if we discover that it is ultimately unknowable. Masterfully crafted and astonishingly wise, Tiger, Tiger explores the limits of understanding, the future of humanity, and establishes Skibsrud as a rare and exceptional talent.
JOHANNA SKIBSRUD is the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sentimentalists as well as the short story collection This Will Be Difficult to Explain and Other Stories and the novel Quartet for the End of Time. She is also the author of three poetry collections, including The Description of the World, which won the 2017 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry and the Fred Cogswell Award. Originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, she currently divides her time between Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Tucson, Arizona.
"Skibsrud’s writing is a pleasure, with its shortish sentences, snappy prose, and mixture of formal speech and slang combining to create a recognizably 21st-century voice."—Quill & Quire
“The juxtaposition of the mysterious with the mundane, the unexpected idea illuminating a life, are not only engrossing, but open the reader’s mind to genuine insight about one’s own reality. These stories, like life, are complex….Skibsrud is a master…[she] can make your head spin and dares you to think.”—Winnipeg Free Press
“An astonishing collection of short stories…Some are long and multi-layered; others are intense vignettes, like small sharp stones glittering on the beach. All are brilliantly constructed with not a word out of place, and are full of wisdom and insight into human beings. Skibsrud writes elegantly about deep-thinking characters on a quest for love, for connection and for meaning in life, whether they live in the present or the 26th century.”—The Chronicle Herald
“Johanna Skibsrud has a way of introducing you to the most unlikely situations and turning them into something that you feel you have experienced yourself, like an uncovered, necessary truth, a story that was waiting to be told. In clever, incisive, and heartfelt prose, she illuminates the past, the present, and the future of humanity as if everything was happening now, here, inside of you, within your pulse.”—Catherine Leroux, author of The Party Wall
“Johanna Skibsrud’s new collection Tiger, Tiger is brimming with provocations and marvels. In a tour de force of imagination like its Blakean predecessor, these fourteen speculative tales travel the big mysteries of origin and destiny. Such wanderings (and wonderings) culminate beautifully in the book’s final words: “Which path is more honest in the end? And by whom, or by what, are we judged?” Happily, Skibsrud manages to convey philosophical depth with a light, almost whimsical heart, via her tenderly rendered, frequently befuddled characters. Each of these stories is a thrill and a pleasure."—Karen Brennan, author of Monsters