Shelf Portraits

Inside the Libraries of Canadian Authors

About Shelf Portraits

Shelf Portraits: Inside the Libraries of Canadian Authors is an online, edited collection of essays, poems, sketches, and other literary works that gives readers an opportunity to see inside the personal libraries of established and emerging authors in this country.

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Johanna Skibsrud: Shelf Portrait

It’s a funny, vertiginous feeling to stand in front of one’s bookshelf and imagine each book as a sort of porthole opening, potentially, onto a nearly infinite network of other just-barely transmittable ideas and experiences; to imagine all the emotions and ideas not-quite-fully-expressed: the missed allusions, all the various ways juxtapositions and metaphors might otherwise function, all the layers of meaning that have been or might still be available—for myself at different moments, or for a different person at a different time.

By Johanna Skibsrud
Dec. 2, 2022
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