Translation #1

by Michael Kimball

She died at home, at night, and was dead so long enough so there couldn’t be a resurrection. She was not just so. There was a serious hope as long as she was still alive. The rest of them remain in our lives these days. They are displayed in the control room. We already knew people who failed to die.

We entered into the examination room and looked forward to her hair, her hand. Maybe they will be in contact and perhaps through that prayer. We usually talk about what is beautiful or generous or loving. How lucky we all were.

Our family always tries. How do I read about all the people in the examination room? Give my last respects.

He went inside the examination room holding her. Everything looks fine, but not a natural color. There was heavy surveillance. She did so much hair when she was in her life. I do not want to remember anymore. The seat has a serious long back. She turned a certain measure of fog. She was almost in his hands, but he could not hold her. She waited in front of him for an investigation.

Michael Kimball is the author of three novels, including Dear Everybody (which The Believer calls “a curatorial masterpiece”) and, most recently, Us (which was named to Oprah’s Summer Reading List). His work has been on NPR’s All Things Considered and in Vice, as well as The Guardian, Bomb, and New York Tyrant, and has been translated into a dozen languages. He is also responsible for Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard). His new novel, Big Ray, will be published by Bloomsbury in Fall 2012.

What advice do you have for writers who want to translate their ideas into compressed, very short pieces? One of my favorite parts of writing is revising and what I love most about revising is cutting. It is incredibly satisfying. In fact, the single best piece of writing advice that I ever received was something like this: Cut anything, everything, that is not absolutely necessary. There are many benefits to making good cuts in revision. Cutting can help to clarify the story, the narration, the characters, voice, etc. Cutting can increase the sense of narrative speed. The biggest benefit: Cutting can create great implication.

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