When I first read Joseph Skibell’s A Curable Romantic last fall, I knew Algonquin had a winner on its hands. On vacation with my in-laws-to-be, I continuously snuck away to read Joseph’s novel, which ensnared me with its depiction of Sigmund Freud! Vienna! Sex-starved dybbuks!
So, it comes as little surprise that Joseph was recently nominated for the prestigious Sami Rohr literary prize, which comes with a hefty reward of $100,000. Joseph’s in good company with fellow nominees Allison Amend, Nadia Kalman, Julie Oringer, and Austin Ratner.
We send out a big congrats to Joseph. For more information on the prize, please head over to Galleycat and check it out.
–Megan Fishmann, Publicist
About A Curable Romantic:
As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed—all by the tender age of twelve— he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history—pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.
Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loë Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.
A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat —a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.
Joseph Skibell is the author of two previous novels, A Blessing on the Moon and The English Disease. He has received a Halls Fiction Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, among other awards. He teaches at Emory University and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.