August 24, 2010


A novel Freud

Emory writer and associate creative writing professor Joseph Skibell is the first to admit that the idea for his latest novel, “A Curable Romantic” (Algonquin Books, 2010), is a bit far-fetched. After all, it’s centered on Sigmund Freud treating with psychoanalysis a patient who’s possessed by a Jewish dybbuk, or dead person’s soul. Throw in a protagonist who’s enamored with Freud’s patient – and then falls hard for the made-up language of Esperanto – and Skibell had quite the writing project on his hands.

Now, seven years after starting the project, Skibell’s novel has been published. Meanwhile, Algonquin is also releasing a new edition of his first novel, “A Blessing on the Moon.”

Recently, Skibell wrote and performed a song to sum up and sell “A Curable Romantic” – a 608-page book – in about two minutes. While the ditty didn’t land him the gig he was wanting, others are taking notice: Oprah’s O Magazine recommends “A Curable Romantic” in its September issue.

book report

>> Listen to Skibell sing the song about “A Curable Romantic” that he wrote to try to win a spot in Jewish community center book fairs. (The song is set to the Gilbert and Sullivan tune “I am the very model of a modern major-general.”)

>> Listen to Skibell talk about the unlikely project’s beginnings.

>> Listen to Skibell read from “A Curable Romantic.” In this passage, Skibell’s protagonist, Dr. Sammelsohn meets up with Freud’s patient Emma Eckstein.

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