A bad dad's dead
A novel deals with the son's sense of loss
Published: November 28, 2012
Kimball: I don't put an adjective in front of "writer," but sometimes I think of myself more specifically as a novelist rather than a writer. Of course, I do have a certain affection for Michigan, where I grew up, and use those details whenever they help the fiction.
mt: You write, "My father might tell a different version of this story." What's one thing that he might say?
Kimball: I put that line in the novel to add a kind of complexity, to create another layer, because, of course, any two people will tell a somewhat different version of anything that happened. That's part of how memory works.
mt: You write, "The more I think about my father, the more I think about myself." What have you learned, about yourself, through the writing of this book?
Kimball: Big Ray was written in an intense rush, three months start to finish. I was emotionally exhausted by the end of it, but also changed. I was a different person — lighter, happier, released from something that I didn't realize was pushing down on me. I found a way to reconcile the love and the hate I had for my father, which was a kind of relief that I didn't know existed. I feel as if it gave me myself back.
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