A letter to Michael Kimball

Dear Michael Kimball,

In perhaps a not entirely sober state, I started your book Us on Saturday night. It was midnight, plus or minus some time. I had many other books to read, but I started your book, and after I read the first paragraph, I wanted to read the whole thing, that night, but I fell asleep on page fifty, plus or minus some pages, and all night while I slept, I was angry at myself for falling asleep.

Michael Kimball, I started your book from the very beginning yesterday because I was perhaps not fully sober when I started the night before. I woke up unnecessarily early yesterday morning, despite having had a raucous night previously, not to mention the disturbed slumber, at 6:30. I propelled myself out of bed and picked up your book immediately. I read your book while I prepared my coffee.

Rather than check my email, I read your book.

I read your book while I walked to the café.

Continue reading “A letter to Michael Kimball”

Elliot Feels His Feelings: an interview with Michael Kimball

Michael Kimball is now the author of three of my favorite books. Before I read his latest, US, I had read and loved THE WAY THE FAMILY GOT AWAY. Before I read US, I read and really, really loved DEAR EVERYBODY. And before I read US, I had purchased but had not yet gotten to HOW MUCH OF US THERE WAS.

Now there’s 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.

Michael and I talked about DEAR EVERYBODY when it came out. When US appeared, we thought it might be nice to talk again.

***

Started your book last night. You are going to break my heart again, aren’t you?

Yes, but in a different way.

Why do our hearts have to break in so many different ways?

It’s one of the surprising things about life, right? When we learn that that can happen.

Or,

I think that it’s partly a structural issue, the heart’s strange shape. Continue reading “Elliot Feels His Feelings: an interview with Michael Kimball”

Michael Kimball’s US [Tyrant Books, 2011]

At last in its U.S. edition, Tyrant Books makes their third release in the form of Michael Kimball’s gorgeous US (formerly released in a different version overseas as How Much of Us There Was).

This is one of like three books ever that made me cry. I read it in a bathtub, all in one go. It is essentially the story of a old man losing his wife to sickness, but rendered in a way that only Michael Kimball knows. You should find out.

Shipping now from Tyrant Books.