Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's a Book!


Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard) started five years ago at a performance arts festival. Between then and now, I wrote over 300 postcard life stories, condensing over 10,000 years of life. Now it's a book. You can get it directly from Mud Luscious or from Amazon. Unfortunately, I couldn't publish everybody's postcard life story in the book or it would have come in around 700 pages. So the book is a selection from the project. Here's the Table of Contents: #45 Adam Robinson, #46 Karen Lillis, #52 Josh Maday, #49 Red Delicious Apple, #66 Blake Butler, #67 G, #70 Elizabeth Ellen, #75 Moose the Cat, #76 Deborah Ling, #91 Kathryn Jachowski, #98 Chair, #100 Jonathon Bender, #101 Elizabeth Crane, #102 Shanti Perez, #103 Rachel Joy, #111 Aaron Goolsby, #114 Sammy the Dog, #117 Baby C, #118 Nate Jackson, #125 J, #129 Matt Bell, #130 El Duque the Cat, #131 Tao Lin, #133 Rahne Alexander, #137 Rhode Island Red, #141 Steve Katz, #149 Christopher Douglas Bowles, #158 Patrick King, #161 L, #166 Beowulf the Cat, #167 Ken Baumann, #170 T-Shirt, #176 Cyndy Taylor, #184 Stephanie Barber, #188 R, #195 Kaya Larsen, #197 A. Jarrell Hayes, #199 Luca Dipierro, #200 Grendel the Cat, #209 Julie Riso, #210 F, #221 Effie Gross, #228 Nick Kane, #240 Monte Riek, #242 N, #249 Umbrella Cover, #255 Andy Devine, #263 Edgar Allan Poe, #265 Abby the Horse, #267 Michael Kimball, #280 Brin-Jonathan Butler, #282 Robin Black, #288 Stephen Graham Jones, #290 Catherine Lacey, #302 John Quincy Adams, #304 Shannon Sullivan, #307 Soap.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Monday, November 26, 2012

BIG RAY in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Reader's Digest, Time Out Chicago

I feel so lucky that BIG RAY has received so many great reviews:

The Wall Street Journal: “astonishingly moving … to mesmerizing effect. … Big Ray is an appalling tale told with anger, dark humor and surprising tenderness.”

The Boston Globe: “Distilled, intense … Fear and revulsion mingle with a kind of helpless love.”

Reader's Digest: “This plainspoken novel about a man coming to terms with his abusive father’s death sneaks up on you--and is unlike anything else you’ve read.”

Time Out Chicago: “Together, the fragments form a surprisingly enthralling portrait of an abusive father … a spellbinding and unflinching meditation on forgiveness, a novel that secures Kimball’s reputation as a literary innovator.”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BIG RAY in The New York Times


I never expected any of my books to get covered at The New York Times, but there's a wonderful little review of BIG RAY there that says, in part: "Big Ray is a disgusting man and a great character. He’s dead at the start of the novel, and it’s impossible not to wish him deader. ... Mr. Kimball is not one to flinch, and this portrayal is the better for it."

Big Ray (the man and the book)



Jessica Anya Blau asked me some great questions about BIG RAY at the The Nervous Breakdown. We talk about the real man, the book, and why I don't forgive my father.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Huffington Post: The Underrepresentation of Overweight Characters

I wrote a piece about obesity in literature because the Huffington Post asked me too and because I just published a novel about a super obese father, BIG RAY. I grew up with an obese father and this was long before people were overweight like they are today. People weren't used to seeing people that big back then, so it was embarrassing to have a dad as big as mine was. The other kids made fun of him and they made fun of me because I was his son. I was flawed by my association to my father.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Michael Kimball's Enormous Death-Eye


Blake Butler asked me some great questions about BIG RAY and I tried to answer them. The interview is up at Vice. Plus, Blake says this: "Somehow [BIG RAY] manages to be simultaneously Kimball’s most brutal and heartfelt and blackly hilarious book yet."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BIG RAY @ KGB Lit Mag


There's a super thoughtful review of BIG RAY from Ian F. King at the KGB Bar Lit Magazine, which says, in part: "BIG RAY's power is unquestionable."

Monday, September 10, 2012

BIG RAY is Book of the Week at Oprah.com


Thanks to Andrew Keating for the nice interview over at Cobalt Review.



And Big Ray is Book of the Week at Oprah.com. Oprah calls the novel "gorgeous." That's all I ever wanted.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Next Best Book Club




The good Lori Hettler says all kinds of nice things about Big Ray and gives the novel five stars over at The Next Best Book Club.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Publishers Weekly

There's a nice review of Big Ray in Publishers Weekly. It says, in part: "The book reads like a memoir, the entirely believable product of a son grappling with the death and life of his father. The narrator talks frankly of his estrangement and efforts to connect, the abuse he suffered and his mixed feelings; the obituary, he notes, listed those who preceded Ray in death and those who survived him. 'I’m one of the people who survived.'”

Death Becomes Him


There's a super-thoughtful profile in the Urbanite's fiction issue. The wonderful Bret McCabe covers all of my books and then some. He says, in part: Big Ray is "part eulogy, part psychological retaliation, and an entirely devastating whole."

Monday, August 6, 2012

#305: Shannon Sullivan

Shannon Sullivan was born in 1976 in California, then handed off to the parents who adopted her and raised her in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California. Shannon’s first sport was ice skating. At 4, she won a gold medal and then she skated in Disney On Ice with the graceful Dorothy Hamill. After that, she was a tomboy—hiking in Yosemite, racing BMX bikes, riding motocross.
Growing up, Shannon was confused by why she felt so different from her parents. When Shannon was 9, her parents told her she was adopted, which infuriated her. She couldn’t understand why her biological parents would get rid of her. For a while, she wondered if she had been kidnapped and her adoptive parents were making up this cover story. When she was 12, Shannon’s parents showed her the adoption papers and she decided to find her biological parents. She wanted so badly to know what her biological mother looked like. In high school, Shannon earned 14 varsity letters and was inducted in to the Los Gatos High School Hall of Fame. Her adoptive parents were a great support system through school and all her sporting events. There was also an older woman who came to all her games, but Shannon didn’t know it was her biological grandmother until years later.
Shannon went to Oklahoma State University on a full softball scholarship. She played shortstop and hit cleanup and played in the College World Series in 1998. Unfortunately, her playing career ended early when she became paralyzed diving for a fly ball. She remembers a flood of thoughts from I can’t bat next inning to Who will live with a paralyzed lesbian? Luckily, she was only paralyzed 4 hours, but it was heartbreaking to end her playing career like that. Shannon misses playing very much, but she returned to the team as a student assistant coach, which began her coaching days and fulfills some of her competitive needs. She graduated from OSU with a degree in physical education and now coaches high school softball.
In 2000, Shannon found her biological parents with the help of the Internet. Her biological father turned out to be the tour manager of the English band, Uriah Heep, and her biological mother was a Playboy Bunny. They had conceived Shannon in a limo and then lost touch. Shannon didn’t have a way to contact either of them. Eventually, an intermediary passed Shannon’s email onto her biological father and he emailed her back. The first line read, "Hello Princess" and Shannon started crying—it still makes her cry to think of it. A few months later, Shannon found her biological mother on Classmates.com and Shannon was thrilled to find out she looked just like her biological mother. Now Shannon has two moms and two dads and two families and she loves them all dearly. And now she knows that her love for sports is genetic, which makes sense. After college, Shannon played women’s professional football for a few years.
In 2006, she played softball for Great Britain’s national softball team in the World Cup. Later that year, Shannon met Maggs through her ex-girlfriend. Shannon and Maggs became great friends and then they started dating. One day, they asked each other, "What are we doing?" Since then, they have been inseparable. Shannon and Maggs decided to get married while out to eat at their favorite restaurant. It was the happiest day of Shannon’s life. Surprisingly, Shannon hates working out. She can coach and train kids all day, but she always worked out to get better on the field. Now working out makes her angry that she can’t play anymore. Of course, she is damn sexy with muscles, but it’s still tough.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vice

There's an excerpt from Big Ray in the June issue of Vice that also just went live.

Plus, Vice named the cover of Big Ray "Best Cover of the Month."

And there's a sweet mini-review of Big Ray from the wonderful Megan Boyle, which says, in part: "prepare to be utterly punished."