Us by Michael Kimball
In Kimball’s novel Us, 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 hi. 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
Michael Kimball is the author of three novels, including Dear Everybody and The Way the Family Got Away, which have been translated into a dozen languages. His work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, in Vice, and in The Guardian. he is also responsible for Michale Kimball Writes your Life STory (on a postcard) and a couple of documentary films.