The Nothing That Is

By (author): Johanna Skibsrud

Rather than making “something” out of “nothing,” what follows is an endeavour to express the potential of language and thought to encounter what is infinitely beyond both yet to be imagined.

In The Nothing That Is, Johanna Skibsrud gathers essays about the very concept of “nothing.” Addressing a broad range of topics—including false atrocity tales, so-called fake news, high-wire acts, and telepathy, as well as responses to works by John Ashbery, Virginia Woolf, Anne Carson, and more—these essays seek to decentre our relationship to both the “givenness” of history and to a predictive or probable model of the future.

The Nothing That Is explores ways in which poetic language can activate the possibilities replete within our every moment. Skibsrud reveals that within every encounter between a speaking “I” and what exceeds subjectivity, there is a listening “Other,” be it community or the objective world.


Johanna Skibsrud

Johanna Skibsrud is a Canadian-American writer, whose debut novel, The Sentimentalists, was awarded the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, making her the youngest writer to ever win Canada’s most prestigious literary prize. She is the author of two novels, two collection of short fiction, three collections of poetry, and the co-author of a children’s book, Sometimes We Think You are a Monkey — proceeds of which are being donated to the Himalayan School Project. She received her BA in English Literature at the University of Toronto, her MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University in Montreal, and her PhD in English Literature at the Université de Montréal.


“It is exhilarating to join a writer working at these bracing heights.” —Washington Post

The Nothing That Is signals Skibsrud’s versatility as a poet and writer who is able to winnow and subvert theoretical concepts for ambitious reinvention.” —Quill and Quire

“There’s nothing like The Nothing That Is. In these Essays on Art, Literature and Being, Johanna Skibsrud set herself a daunting task: To search for what hasn’t yet been imagined. And in doing so, she found nothing less than imaginative new ways of being.” —Woven Tale Press


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134 Pages
9.00in * 6.00in * .30in


October 01, 2019


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