Synopses & Reviews
A husband wakes up to find that his wife has had a seizure during the night. The husband calls an ambulance and his wife is rushed to a hospital where she lies in a coma. By day, the husband sits beside his wife and tries to think of ways to wake her up. At night, the husband sleeps in the chair next to his wife's bedside dreaming that she will wake up. He wants to be able to take her back home.
Years later, the story of this long and loving marriage is retold by their grandson. He wants to understand his grandmother's life and death, what it meant to his grandfather, and what it means to him. He wants to understand — in his own words — "how love can accumulate between two people."
"Be warned: this book has the power to make even the most hard-hearted of readers shed a tear....Kimball has broken into new territory: [Us] is one of the most graphic depictions of illness and loss I have ever read." The Glasgow Herald
"Michael Kimball never ceases to astonish. He is a hero of contemporary fiction." Sam Lipsyte
"There are two books I can remember that ever made me physically cry. There were the rape scenes in Saramago's Blindness, and there was nearly every chapter of Michael Kimball's [Us]. While the first hurt because it was so brutal, Kimball's was a softer kind of invocation — as I read it in a bathtub, I could not shake the feeling of being held, as if somehow the words had interlaced my skin. This is the essence of the magic Michael Kimball holds — his sentences come on so taut, so right there, and yet somehow so calming, it's as if you are being visited by some lighted presence." Blake Butler
"It's not just the subject matter -- the mourning spouse trope certainly isn't a rarity in literature. But there's something incredibly raw and unabashedly real in how Kimball approaches this subject, and much of his success is due to technique. The narrator's painfully accurate attention to detail not only makes the everyday world unique and specific to Kimball's vision, but also serves to slow time to an absolute crawl. We occupy the same space as the fearful and grieving husband, and we see the meaning in every moment that would otherwise be fleeting." Andy Stewart, Rain Taxi
(Read the entire Rain Taxi review
About the Author
Michael Kimball is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels, including Dear Everybody and The Way the Family Got Away. Each of his novels has been translated (or is being translated) into many languages. His work has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in Vice, as well as The Guardian, Prairie Schooner, Post Road, Open City, Unsaid, and New York Tyrant. He is also responsible for Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard) , the documentary films I Will Smash You and 60 Writers/60 Places, and the conceptual pseudonym Andy Devine.