Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story
(on a postcard)

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.
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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."
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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."
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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."
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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."
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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.
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