By Michael Kimball
(Alma Books, Hardcover, 9781846880551, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Tracing the nuances of a short-lived life, this involving and sympathetically written novel maintains a tone of finely judged tension between laughter and tears. Jonathon Bender had something to tell the world, but the world wouldn’t listen. However, he left behind him unsent letters addressed to relatives, friends, neighbors, coaches, teachers, classmates, professors, roommates, psychiatrists, employers, his younger self, former girlfriends, his ex-wife, a TV station, and God, among many others. This unsent correspondence forms the narrative of a remarkable life.
Michael Kimball is the author of How Much of Us There Was and The Way the Family Got Away. He lives in Baltimore.
"Occasionally a novel by a new writer will cause critics to choke with excitement. This is one." Scotsman
"By turns hilarious and hauntingand always thrillingly deep, surprising, and pitch-perfect . . . confirms Kimball's reputation as one of our most supremely gifted and virtuosic renderers of the human predicament. It's as moving a novel as I have read in years." Gary Lutz, author, Stories in the Worst Way
"I love this book, love the strangely detailed world that accumulates through letters, lists, yearbook quotes, and psychological evaluations. And I love the character of Jonathon Bender, the way he makes me so sad and also makes me laugh so hard. He will stay with me forever." Jessica Anya Blau, author, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties
"Thank you for this book. What Jonathon Bender writes in his unsent letters are what each of us longs to say, what all of us have been saying our whole lives, just not out loud.” Stephen Graham Jones, author, Demon Theory
The page-turning urgency of a mystery and the thrilling formal inventiveness of the great epistolary novels. Jonathon Bender's magical letters to the world that never wrote to him are at once whimsical, anguished, funny, utterly engaging and, finally, unforgettable.” Maud Casey, author, Genealogy
"A reader can only embrace the open-armed Dear Everybody . . . In Bender’s unsent letters of apology or thanks, Michael Kimball transforms the familiar into the strange again and the simplest confessions are made moments of sublime wonder. Hold on to this book." Christine Schutt, author, Florida, a National Book Award finalist, and winner of the O. Henry Prize and Pushcart Prize
"Believable and tragic." Baltimore Magazine
"Elegantly and eloquently written." Star-Democrat