Friday, December 16, 2011

Us for City Paper's The Year In Books

I'm excited that City Paper named Us to its Top Ten list for The Year in Books, along with books by some of my favorite writers—Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, Errol Morris, Lawrence Weschler, etc. City Paper says, in part: "We’re all familiar with the classic boy-meets-girl scenario, but what would happen if the tale kept going? Kimball takes the reader to the end of the love story—the real end—and shows just how crushing it can be. "

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Running

A new piece of fiction called Running up at Housefire. Many thanks to Kira Clark and Robert Duncan Gray.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Bomb Interview: My Mind Zooming In



My friend and genius Adam Robinson interviewed me about Us for Bomb. He asks me some impossible questions and I tell him what I'd be doing if I wasn't writing novels.

Us Named a Top Ten Indie by Book Page


Book Page has named its Top 10 Indie Picks for 2011 and Us tops the list, which also has great titles by Joshua Mohr, Alan Heathcock, Ryan Bradley, Steve Himmer, Adam Mansbach, Lavinia Ludlow, Vanessa Veselka, Franki Elliot, and Ben Tanzer. Many thanks for Lori Hettler.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BIG RAY


I love this cover -- the presence in the absence, at once beautiful and unsettling. Click on it for a bigger version. Bloomsbury will publish BIG RAY Fall 2012.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BIG RAY


There will probably be some tweaks -- a bigger font size for the title and maybe white for my name and the placement of "a novel" might move -- but I love this cover too much to not show it to everybody already. Bloomsbury will publish BIG RAY Fall 2012.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LitLive @ MICA

I'm excited to be reading with my pal Justin Sirois at MICA. The event is called LitLive and it's happening this Thursday, October 13th, 5pm, at MICA, Bunting Center Room 452, 1401 Mt. Royal Avenue (Corner of Lafayette & Mt. Royal). Thanks to Dan Gutstein for setting everything up and for bringing the cupcakes. I hope to see you there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

#299 Matty Byloos: Absolutely Everything Right Now

Matty Byloos was born in Los Angeles and raised in various parts of the San Fernando Valley (a Valley Boy, if there were such a thing). Matty’s childhood was great and his family was pretty typical of Italian-American families. There was lots of extended family around and everybody played a ton of cards. They all loved baseball and large meals. Everybody had a sarcastic sense of humor, so teasing was prevalent. Then, when Matty was 11, his grandfather, the family patriarch, died and everything fell apart. His immediate family stayed close—Matty and his sister have always been friends and his parents stayed together—but everybody else drifted away. For some reason, as a kid, Matty loved the movie Wall Street. Also, he attended an all-boys, Jesuit high school near the city center of Los Angeles, just a few miles from the LA riots that happened in 1992. The school was shut down for a while and it was like entering a warzone when they went back—entire city blocks reduced to rubble and ash, blackened and charred. That has always stuck with Matty. The other standout thing from high school time was visiting Mabel King during his community service commitment, which he did at the Motion Picture Country Home, a rest home and hospice care facility for anybody involved in show business. She was blind and dying at the time, but also so full of life—a kind of magical grandmother. After high school, Matty attended a Jesuit college where he played rugby on and off and also played bass in a punk band called Vietnun. Once, he was held up at gunpoint and almost killed. Besides that, he studied literature and creative writing and it was great. For his Masters, he studied painting and critical theory. Matty’s girlfriend is also his best friend and she knows more about what is going on in his brain at any given time than anybody else but him. She's divine and a poet. They met through mutual friends and, after some difficult middle years, sorted things out. Matty loves that she'll fight like a hellion and forgive just as fast. They don’t have kids, but do have two cats—Patchen and Parsley (who thinks Matty is her mom—most nights he wakes up with her suckling on the two cherry blossom tattoos on his forearm). Matty always wanted to see Japan and he did in 2005 when the cherry blossoms were in bloom. During the trip, Matty ate apple pie and ice cream in a tiny house after seeing the Buddha statue in Kamakura. Another time, Matty was almost killed again when he was almost hit by a car going 100mph in the wrong direction during a high-speed chase. That combined with the Jesuit life principles of treating every day like it’s your last have made him a workaholic and somebody who tries to do absolutely everything right now. Now Matty does online marketing stuff. He owns and operates a network of websites. He still paints and has been working on a large-scale drawing installation that functions like a novel in pictures—with every single page on display at the same time. Matty is feeling pretty good about writing these days, even more so than painting, which is a big shift after mostly existing in the art world. He’s working on a novel that is built out of independent flash pieces. It's about a motorcycle gang and the apocalypse and Detroit and lots of birds that wear jackets and ponder their own evolution.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall for the Book


I'm excited to be reading from Us tonight at George Mason University's Fall for the Book with the wonderful Amelia Gray and Matt Bell. It's 8pm tonight in the Student Union Building, Rooms 3, 4, & 5.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Weird Kind of Beauty

I interview Michael Bible about the weird beauty of Simple Machines, which is just out from Awesome Machine. It's over at Htmlgiant.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Are Some of the Best Books of the Year?

The wonderful Penina Roth answers the question at Flavorwire and places Us on the list -- along with books by Blake Butler, Deb Olin Unferth, Emma Straub, Joshua Cohen, Karen Russell, Seth Fried, Stefan Merrill Block, and Teju Cole.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Reading @ Rosemont College, Philadelphia

Dear Philadelphia, I'm excited to be visiting on Wednesday -- looking forward to reading in the evening, 6:15pm @ Rosemont College. Many thanks for Randall Brown for the invitation.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Fall 510 Readings


I just posted the Fall 510 Schedule. It's pretty good.


S17: John Brandon, Sandra Beasley, Christine Grillo, Greg Olear.
O15: Laura Ellen Scott, Mark Cugini, John Rowell, Jackie Wang.
N19: Joshua Mohr, Stephanie Barber, Ben Loory, Mike Young.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Was Pretty Nice

Baltimore Magazine included me on their list of Top Five Writers -- along with John Waters, Laura Lippman, Madison Smartt Bell, and Stephen Dixon. Here's the blurb: "One of the funniest guys around wrote Us, one of the saddest and most poignant books that you'll ever read."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#298 Michael Davidson: How Dangerous He Can Be to Himself

Michael Davidson was born in Miami in 1979. At 2, his parents moved him to Houston and he had a fun childhood there. His parents weren’t over-protective, so he ran around the pool and swam a lot. He rode his bike, walked through the woods, and carved his initials into a gazebo. He climbed onto the roof and leaned against the chimney whenever he was locked out and no one was home. He didn’t read much. He stayed home from school and watched cartoons. He mostly ate grilled cheese sandwiches and mac ‘n cheese. Michael’s first hobby was collecting baseball cards, which he still has, and the stack is a personal reminder of what it means to grow historic. When Michael was 12, his parents moved the family to Barranquilla, on the coast of Colombia, where his mother is from. There, Michael played tennis on red clay courts and Ping-Pong in his sister’s room. He ate arepas and empanadas and deditos. Cheese follows Michael everywhere he goes. In high school, Michael played tennis and did yearbook, which probably helped him get into college, where he studied economics, thinking it would help him get a job. This was a misconception. So far, he hasn’t used his degree for any specific kind of employment. Michael has done remote work for Google, worked as a golf range ball picker, a residential appraiser, and a math tutor. Michael has lived with his wonderful girlfriend Bridget since 2007 and he can’t stop making her smile because he likes seeing her smile so much. Also, Bridget makes home feel like home and he likes it when she plays the piano, which makes him think about how beautiful her mind is. For a while, Michael thought that signing the mortgage to his first home was an important event, but deciding to get out from under the mortgage and start living well again, free from being indentured to the bank, was more important. Here’s a subject change: Michael can only clip his nails outside. Something else: he has a scar between his bottom lip and chin that isn’t small. He got it from the Pacific Ocean, which picked him up when he was body surfing and slammed his face into the seafloor, where he floated around underwater and thought he was going to die. When he surfaced, he felt the sun and laughed, but he couldn’t talk right and part of his mouth was collapsed. Michael didn’t know what kind of person he was until the Pacific Ocean hurt him. He sees the scar in the mirror every day: He sees people staring at the scar when he talks. It’s a reminder of how dangerous he can be to himself. In 2009, Michael’s grandfather died and he hadn’t seen him for nearly a year. He can’t remember exactly what he said or what he looked like the very last time he saw him. In 2010, shortly before his grandmother died, he held her hand in the hospital and said goodbye. This somehow lightened the weight of losing her. Recently, Michael learned how to handpress paperback novels right on his kitchen table and he named the enterprise Tiny TOE Press, which published his first novel, Austin Nights. Michael is happy and healthy and at peace with everyone around him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Me and Us on WYPR

I recorded this segment for WYPR's Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast a couple of months ago and missed it when it aired, but the podcast is available now. Before me, there are segments about crime in Baltimore and a study about news sources, then I'm around the 24-minute mark. Tom Hall is an incredibly generous question-asker.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Beautiful Sadness of Impermanence

There's a wonderful review of Us at Word Riot, which says, in part: "In his latest novel, Us, Michael Kimball delivers a gripping, forceful ode to that almost-forgotten lifelong theater of affection and agony between a man and a woman, an impeccably rendered meditation on what the Japanese call mono no ware, the beautiful sadness of impermanence. ... [Kimball] has taken contemporary fiction and turned on the light of a sparsely decorated dark and beautiful room to which it has perhaps never been." Many thanks to Chris Vola and to Jackie Corley.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Franklin Park + InDigest

Thank you to the wonderful Penina Roth and to everybody who packed the room at Franklin Park. Julie Jackson has a great write-up of the event at Electric Literature, along with a blurry photo of me "kicking ass at the mic."

But if you couldn't come out to Franklin Park, you can still hear me read on a podcast at InDigest. If it's not a great recording, that's my fault or Garage Band's. Many thanks to Dustin Luke Nelson.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Lit Things + The Paris Review


New York Magazine picked the Franklin Park reading I'm doing with Joshua Cohen, Kio Stark, Robert Tumas, and Amy Benfer as one of five literary events to check out next week.

Plus, Sadie Stein at The Paris Review wrote a nice tidbit that calls Us "heartbreakingly lovely" and the writing "a pleasure."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Kindle Us


The Kindle version of Us is now available. Many thanks, as always, to the Tyrant and to Tyrant Books.

Franklin Park Reading Series


I'm excited to be reading in the Franklin Park Reading Series -- with Joshua Cohen, Kio Stark, Amy Benfer, and Robert Tumas on Monday, August 15th, 8pm. All the details are at the link. Many thanks to the wonderful Penina Roth for putting it all together.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fiddleback #5

I have two short fictions in the new Fiddleback -- "Introduction" from a longer work and a one-off called "Airplanes Turn into Stars at Night." Many thanks to Daniel Long, who also has a great interview with Gary Lutz in the issue. Also, check out the fiction by Michael Hemmingson, Kevin Fenton, Bobby Dixon, and J.A. Tyler.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome to the Golden Age

There's a wonderful group review -- books by Blake Butler, Scott McClanahan, Joshua Cohen, and me -- in the Charlotte Viewpoint. Jeff Jackson makes an interesting argument -- that "we’re living through a golden age for American literature" -- and then goes on to say nice things about each of our books. Of Us, he says, "this examination of love, grief and family makes these universal themes seem achingly fresh. ... Us delivers a powerful emotional experience."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Freerange Nonfiction



I have a new piece called The Life Story of L up at Freerange Nonfiction, along with a piece by Melissa Seley. Many thanks to the good Mira Ptacin.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rain Taxi, Birdsong, Momentary Melodies

There's a really nice review of Us in Rain Taxi that says Us is "incredibly raw and unabashedly real ... Kimball wins us over by his impressive emotional authenticity. Us is so authentic that one might mistake it for an autobiography." You can only see it in the print version of Rain Taxi or at Powell's Review-a-Day.

Then there's this five-question, one-minute interview at Birdsong.

And I missed this a couple of weeks ago, but there's a really sweet and thoughtful video review of Us at Momentary Melodies. Thank you, Lauren.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Michael Kimball Will Not Back Down

My friend Jen Michalski asks me some questions about Big Ray over at JMWW -- for instance, how I wrote it without anybody knowing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Used Furniture



I'm interviewed at Used Furniture where we talk about Us, Dear Everybody, sadness and reckoning, euphoria and writing, and writing as something that is rendered.

Anything Could Be a Story

I have an interview with Rachel B. Glaster up at the Charlotte Viewpoint. We talk about Pee on Water, how her ideas become stories, and how anything can be a story.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BIG RAY to Bloomsbury

I'm having a pretty great year so far and I feel really grateful for it. I don't even know how to explain how grateful I feel. I'm so happy to announce that I just sold the world rights to a new novel, BIG RAY. It's the story of a son coming to terms with the sudden death of his obese father. It's told through 500 brief entries, moving back and forth between past and present, the father's death and his life, between an abusive childhood and adult understanding. BIG RAY went to Kathy Belden at Bloomsbury USA, which will publish in Fall 2012, and Michael Fishwick at Bloomsbury UK, which will publish in Winter 2013.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oprah Says Really Nice Things About Us

Oprah says some really nice things about Us: "The best little novel you haven't heard about, Us ... Kimball's clear-eyed prose unlocks the most vulnerable voice ... creating an emotional link that leaves no reader untouched."

The Playlist for Us at Largehearted Boy

I've always loved Largehearted Boy and I had a lot of fun listening to everything song on my iPod to make a playlist for Us. There's Beck, Wilderness, Neutral Milk Hotel, Mazzy Star, The Cure, Celebration, and a cover of a Blue Oyster Cult song.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be Brave on the Page


The wonderful Caroline Leavitt asked me some smart questions about Us and I did my best to answer them. We talk about the origins for the book, the moment-to-moment structure, and making sentences do many things.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Book Made It Happen

The wonderful Amber Sparks wrote a moving and personal review of Us for Big Other that says, in part: "I’ve read review after review of this amazing book that turns back on itself and becomes a sort of self-examination by the reviewer. I think that says more about the brilliance of Kimball’s novel than it does about us readers ... Michael Kimball’s wonderful book ... it fastened itself around my neck as I read, got in my eyes, swam in my bloodstream, infected my brain. The book made it happen. Us became a story about my grandfather, about my husband, about the people I love and the loss I fear."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Personal Review (of sorts) of Us


The good Mel Bosworth wrote a thoughtful, personal review (of sorts) of Us for OWC that says, in part: "Michael Kimball is a rare, rare writer, a writer whose empathy knows no limits. He holds the note of loss and his voice never cracks."

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Breathless Humanity


The fine Brandon Hobson wrote a beautiful review of Us for The Faster Times that says, in part: "... bold and generous. Its greatest strength is the sensitivity with which Kimball explores the complexities of understanding pain and watching someone you love die. Us is a book that evocatively renders the static of sadness into a breathless humanity."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Time Out New York on Us


The good Drew Toal wrote a nice, descriptive review of Us for Time Out New York that says, in part: "Kimball is an amazingly empathetic writer."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

As If We Are Not Ourselves

The artist Cynthia Gray has been collecting anonymous love letters for ten years. It's a beautiful and heartbreaking project and I just edited and selected from the most recent batch of love letters here. I also collected some of my own thoughts and questions about love letters in a kind of editor's letter here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lily Hoang on Us @ Htmlgiant


I have always felt grateful whenever I have received a good review. I have always felt grateful when it seems as if somebody gets what I have written. But I feel something beyond that after reading Lily Hoang's piece, A letter to Michael Kimball--a moving and beautiful reading of Us. I can still feel what she says in the middle of my chest. Thank you, Lily.

Don't Give Up


My wonderful friend Cynthia Gray's wonderful project -- don't give up magnets -- on Oprah.com. I'm a distributor if anybody needs one.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Two Stories @ Bomb

I'm excited about my two stories at Bomb, which are accompanied by this beautiful Conor Lamb photo and some kind words: "As entertaining as it is intelligent as it is irreverent, Kimball’s prose is that rare creature that devours while being devoured."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nathan Martin Interviews Me at Room 220

Nathan Martin interviews me about Us at Room 220. He says all kinds of nice things like this: "Michael Kimball's stylistic capacities dwarf those of most contemporary fiction writers." And he asks me all kinds of smart questions that get deep into the craft and thought behind Us. All of this is in anticipation of the Dirty Southern Cross Tour, which ends in New Orleans with a reading at the Antenna Gallery in New Orleans on Thursday, June 9th, 7pm (see two posts down for more).

Us at Creative Loafing


There's a nice interview about Us, compression, beautiful documentaries, and the reputation of The Tyrant at Creative Loafing -- this in anticipation of the kickoff reading for the Dirty Southern Cross Tour (see immediately below) -- tomorrow, 7pm at the Beep Beep Gallery, with Marc Fitten. Many thanks to Wyatt Williams.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dirty Southern Cross Tour

I have a bunch of Us stuff coming up. Tomorrow, June 2, I'm reading and doing a Q&A at Atomic Books, 7pm -- plus, there will be adult beverages.

Friday, June 3, I'm looking forward to joining the discussion at #LitChat -- just use the #litchat hash tag.

Saturday, the Tyrant is giving me a break. Sunday, the 5th, is the beginning of the Dirty Southern Cross Tour, at the Beep Beep Gallery.

When I leave Atlanta, I'm taking Blake Butler with me. Monday, the 6th, we'll be reading at Portland Brew East in Nashville.

Tuesday, the 7th, we'll be reading at Square Books in Oxford -- where there will also be a special appearance by William Faulkner.

Wednesday, we'll mostly be gambling at little casinos along the Mississippi River. Thursday, the 9th, we'll be reading at the Antenna Gallery in New Orleans. I hope to see you in any of those places.