Thursday, May 26, 2011

Top 10 Best Modern Literary Love Stories

Cortnee Howard made a list of the Top 10 Best Modern Literary Love Stories and I am happy to see Us on the list along with Jodi Picoult's Second Glance, Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Of Us, Cortnee says, in part: "The story chronicles a relationship that is both bludgeoning in its sheer devastation and yet remarkably–exquisitely–beautiful ... a must read."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Time Out Chicago on Us

There's a really great 5-star review of Us in Time Out Chicago. The wonderful Jonathan Messinger says, in part: "The sentences and even paragraphs simulate the stunned but dutiful response to the suffering of a loved one: short, raw and somewhat elliptical, wrapping themselves around the small tasks at hand and the larger questions constantly raised. ... Kimball’s short chapters cast such a hypnotic spell, the reader is able to plug directly into the character’s grief. It’s a simply gorgeous and astonishing book, the kind that makes the outside world disappear once you open its pages."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Big Other

Over at Big Other, the poet John Poch writes an attentive review of Us. John says, in part: "Michael Kimball faces mortality directly, confronting the passionate life in the most poetic sentences I’ve read from a fiction writer in a long time. And by poetic, I don’t mean that the prose is prettified with a lot of adjectives and fancy syntactical flourishes. It is poetic in the sense that the sentences seem made, hewn, created by a mind and hand that love the way we think and talk in sentences. ... After having finished one of the saddest books I’ll probably ever read, I was filled with a strange exuberance. ... If death is a sentence, Michael Kimball has found its words."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Laughing Yeti: Where the Sadness and the Love Exist

The good Shome Dasgupta has a beautiful review of Us up at The Laughing Yeti. He says, in part: "There is this gentility and softness and purity that becomes some kind of being, and this being, by the end of the book, is us. ... There is a gap here in what is actually happening and what is going on in the narrator's head, and it is in this gap where the sadness and the love exist."

Urbanite: When Us Becomes Me

Cara Ober has a thoughtful review of Us in the Urbanite. She says, in part: "Kimball's naked prose magnifies the poignancy of the situation ... Us is a reminder that we are all tragedies waiting to happen. It makes you aware of the fragility of your own heart, of the dull ache it often carries. Some readers may find Us depressing, but with its awareness comes a gem of appreciation for the life you currently lead, even with its eventual demise. This book shines a laser beam into the deep, dark places in the human soul, and renders them oddly transparent."

Write Up of KGB

Elka Reads has a funny and strange write up of the launch party for Us at KGB. The room is crowded. There is an open bar and literary football. Sam gets stalked. The Tyrant tells stories. And I read in a haunting tenor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flavorpill: Devastingly Sad

There's a great review of Us at Flavorpill. The thoughtful Russ Marshalek says: "One of the saddest [books], and most compelling, ... is Michael Kimball’s gutting new novel, Us ... We consumed the entire book in one subway ride, and got more than a few strange glances our way as Kimball’s novel caused us to convulse with sobs." The piece goes on to name ten other devastatingly sad books--which includes books by Cormac McCarthy, Emma Donoghue, Ernest Hemingway, Ian McEwan, Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Lorrie Moore.

Us Might Break Your Heart, But It's the Good Kind of Break

The wonderful Jessica Anya Blau interviews me about Us at The Nervous Breakdown. We talk about dying, crying, spiritualism, sadness, and tenderness. Jessica also says, "Us might break your heart, but it's a good kind of break-- the kind that reminds you how nice it is to be alive."

All the Characters Are Versions of Myself

I have an interview with Justin Taylor up at the Charlotte Viewpoint. We talk about The Gospel of Anarchy, the great stuff he does with third-person close narration, and writing sex scenes, among other things.

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Excerpt from Us in The Collagist

There's an excerpt from Us in #22 of The Collagist. There's also great work from J.A. Tyler, Sarah Norek, Mathias Svalina, Ofelia Hunt, Johannes Göransson, Russel Swensen, Emilia Phillips, Joseph A. W. Quintela, Kellam Ayres, and Brian Evenson -- and thoughtful reviews from Renée E. D'Aoust, Adam Parker Cogbill, Melanie Page, Gavin Pate, and Anna Clark. Many thanks to Matt Bell.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Faster Times: Achingly Beautiful

The goodness that is Lincoln Michel has a super nice announcement about Us at The Faster Times. He calls the novel "tightly written, unflinchingly direct, and achingly beautiful." He says: "The prose is as clean as a surgical incision and Kimball dives directly into the dark waters of love and mortality that most writers only dip their toes into. This is a book you should be reading."

He also mentions the launch party, which will be tomorrow at 7:30pm at KGB, which will include me, Us, Sam Lipsyte, and the Tyrant.

Such a Painful Softness

There's a really thoughtful review of Us by the good Robert Kloss at Red Fez. The review opens like this: "Michael Kimball’s Us is, as much as we may not want to admit it, the story of all of us and what we daily attempt to ignore: that eventually our loved ones, our spouses and significant relations, will either die and leave us or we will die and leave them." Toward the end of the review, there's this phrase -- "such a painful softness" -- that seems to capture the feeling of the novel.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Elliot Feels His Feelings

This htmlgiant interview may be the most fun that I've ever had on the interviewee side of the interview. The wonderful Matthew Simmons and I talked back and forth about Us as he read it over the course of a few weeks. We talked about the different ways that hearts can break, E.T., blowback, and a bunch of other stuff. Among other things, Matthew says this of Us: ‎"... disarmingly simple, gorgeously structured, and as achingly sad a book as I have ever read. I had to stop a couple of times. I really did. The book’s elderly couple—so painfully aware of the fact that one of them is living the last parts of her life—are drawn so concisely, and the situation is so precisely rendered, it was hard not to spend all my time living in it even when I wasn’t reading the book."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5.10.11 Pub Day for Us

It's pub day for Us and I couldn't be happier that the novel now officially exists in America. The release party is this Saturday, the 14th, at KGB, which includes me, Us, Sam Lipsyte, an open bar, and the Tyrant. I hope to see you there, if you live near there.

Two Nice Reviews of Us

The good Erica Spangler gives Us a great review at BookedinChico. My favorite line is where she says, "I even walked to and from school in order to keep reading the novel." She also says, "Us moves you, rattles you, and shakes your spirit as a human ... read this magnificent novel."

Plus, over at Chamber Four, Mike Beeman calls Us "an unflinching account." Then says, "Kimball takes many risks in Us and ... the risks pay off, leading to a conclusion that is as surprising as it is inevitable, and deeply satisfying."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Psychology Today: One True Thing

At Psychology Today, the wonderful Jennifer Haupt asks me some thoughtful questions and I do my best to answer them. Besides that, she says this about Us: "Be forewarned: when you pick up Us, Michael Kimball's haunting story of love and letting go, you will not be able to put it down."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nice Review of Us at Corduroy Books

There's a really nice review of Us at Corduroy Books (along with a review of Andrew Krivak's The Sojourn). The good Weston Cutter says things like this: "Us is such strange magic ... Us brings up something strange and terrifying to consider: that the real beauty and magic of being alive—a long marraige made of compromise and attempting to do right by the person one’s sworn before god to do right by—may not even be able to be communicated by anything more fancy than the simplest, most basic statements (what, after all, is sadder to read than “My wife stopped breathing”? If you can actually connect with those words, can empathize with whatever speaker’s uttered them, can many statements be more devastating?). ... (but there’s plenty more reason to read it, not least is the searching, fumbling, totally humble way Kimball writes himself into the story of his grandparents and tries to understand what it is that’s in between people who’ve spent a lifetime beside each other). It’s a gorgeous book."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Us: Release Party

The release party for Us is going to be at KGB on May 14, 7:30pm. My friend Sam Lipsyte will read a little something and I will read a little something and then there's going to be an open bar, because that's how my publisher does it. Here's more information on the release party, as well as the rest of the book tour.

Pre-orders are now available at Tyrant Books and at Amazon.