Sunday, October 5, 2008


DEAR EVERYBODY has been out for one good month+ and it’s been great. There was an early review in the Greenpoint Gazette that says DEAR EVERYBODY is "inventive and often extremely funny, but it will also break your heart. Michael Kimball is one of the most talented and original writers in America today. You should read his books."

Then there was a rave in Time Out New York's Fall Preview: "Michael Kimball Reinvents the Suicide Letter" where Michael Miller calls the writing “stunning” while also saying other nice things.

There was an a big excerpt of DEAR EVERYBODY in the September Urbanite and then they also ran an interview online that covers a lot of ground—everything from my first novel to DEAR EVERYBODY to what I eat for breakfast. Thank you, Hannah Spangler, for asking the questions (it was her first interview). And thank you, Marianne Amoss, for making it happen.

Rafael Alvarez (one of the writers who made The Wire great) wrote a profile in the Sunday edition of The Examiner. It's about the cross-country trip I took to revise the first draft of THE WAY THE FAMILY GOT AWAY.

And then there was a really nice review by the wonderful Josh Maday at New Pages. I tried to figure out how to just quote a tease line, but I couldn't. Here's the whole last paragraph: "Kimball writes with such deep emotion and crafts his sentences with such mastery that he sweeps away his own footprints and allows the reader unhindered access to the story. The fragmented nature of the book makes it an addictive read, giving the reader regular breaks while at the same time drawing them along. I often found myself thinking, 'Just one more letter. One more diary entry. One more interview,' until it was time to go back to the beginning and start over. With Dear Everybody, Michael Kimball achieves the perfect balance of form and content, comedy and tragedy – all without sliding into melodrama or sentimentality, instead evoking genuine emotion that will remain with readers far beyond the last page."

The playlist for DEAR EVERYBODY is up at Largehearted Boy's Book Notes (an author creates and discusses a music playlist that is in some way relevant to their recently published book). Largehearted Boy's David Gutowski says: "Dear Everybody is a cleverly constructed book that balances pathos and humor exquisitely, and proves Michael Kimball to be a master storyteller."

Gregg Wilhelm gave a very nice plug to DEAR EVERYBODY on WYPR's Maryland Morning: “quite a literary feat … the character of Jonathon Bender is stripped down to his emotional core.”

There's a great new literary magazine: No Colony, edited by Ken Baumann and Blake Butler, and it had two excerpts from DEAR EVERYBODY--the Chronology and a To-Do List.

And then the great first week+ for DEAR EVERYBODY closed out with a wonderful review in the Sunday LA Times. Matt Bell closes the review with this line: "There is a whole life contained in this slim novel, a life as funny and warm and sad and heartbreaking as any other, rendered with honest complexity and freshness by Kimball's sharp writing." I'm really happy for DEAR EVERYBODY.

The wonderful people of Keyhole Magazine made me a featured author. What does that mean? Well, that means there's a interview where Jonathan Bergey and his voice ask me excellent questions and then I try to answer them; it comes in two forms, podcast and words that you can read. Then there's a review of DEAR EVERYBODY by the amazing Blake Butler that put me in a state in which I could not describe what it said to my wife. Plus, there's a brief conversation that the good Karen Lillis and I had about a subject that is close to both of us, feeling in fiction. Plus, plus, there are excerpts from DEAR EVERYBODY. Thank you, Peter Cole, for pulling all of this together.

There was an interview that I did with Managing Editor Dave Rosenthal in Sunday's Baltimore Sun. Now the interview is up on their books blog, Read Street. Because of space the paper doesn't include the questions, just the topic and the answers. I say things like this: "I had about 400 fragments on different pieces of paper spread out in my dining room."

Also, I love this. I love Brandi Wells.

Then there was an interview at Word Riot that I did with Josh Maday. We talk a lot about DEAR EVERYBODY, but also Faulkner, Beckett, and Andre the Giant. The interview was the very first interview I did about DEAR EVERYBODY, though it appeared after other interviews. And Josh was also the very first person to ask for a review copy way back when, which I want to thank him for here, because that early support, well, honestly, it's a huge relief to get that. Thanks, Josh.

There is also photographic evidence of people reading DEAR EVERYBODY.

This next one made me really happy. I've been reading Bookslut for at least 5 years and now I'm an Indie Heartthrob.

After that, I was reading our copy of Baltimore Magazine (we have a subscription) and was surprised when I turned the page and saw the cover of DEAR EVERYBODY on Page 56. It's a really nice review by John Lewis in his Read It column. I couldn't find it online, but here are my favorite bits: "Lightning has struck again with this Baltimorean's book ... Kimball's protagonist possesses an emotional clarity that makes his eventual suicide all the more believable and tragic. ... You feel his pain."

Then the good Joseph Young wrote a very nice review of DEAR EVERYBODY that just went up at JMWW. Here are my favorite bits: "entirely unique ... Kimball has written a book of beauty. It's a sad book and a wonderful one."

And the last thing, so far—I grew up in Michigan and went to school at Michigan State University. I've never gone back to Michigan as a writer, so I'm looking forward to this trip back home. I'll be talking to classes at MSU and giving a bunch of readings: October 7, MSU Library; October 8, Schuler Books in Lansing; October 9, MOCA in Detroit. In support of that, Bill Castanier at City Pulse wrote a nice profile/review of DEAR EVERYBODY. You can go home again?

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