Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story
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Publishers Weekly Long List

Publishers Weekly added their own list of underrated writers to the ongoing discussion of lists of writers. I was a little surprised to find my name on the list. It's nice to be noticed, but less so to be noticed for not being noticed. Still, it's nice that they made a long list (60 writers, though Cheryl Strayed is listed twice) and that there is some range to the list, including at least one person that I'm almost sure is dead. Still, there are so many names that are missing. Taking a quick look at my shelves, and the fact that PW included dead people, I would also include Joe Brainard, Elizabeth Crane, Stanley Crawford, Sheila Heti, B.S. Johnson, Stephen Graham Jones, Sarah Manguso, David Markson, Mary Miller -- and given that these lists are kind of arbitrary, I'm going to stop there with the letter M.
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Redivider 7.2 (Spring 2010)

I have a flash called "I Was Supposed to Be an Actor" in the new Redivider. There's also fine work from Keith Alexander, Emily Bobo, Traci Brimhall, Alison Doernberg, Alison Doernberg, Bill Edmondson, Timothy Fitzmaurice, David Huddle, Richard Jackson, Isaac’s Janet Jennings, Michael McFee, Michael McFee, Wayne Miller, Wayne Miller, Cecily Parks, Isaac Pressnell, James Richardson, James Richardson, Milan Rufus, Ali Shapiro, Gary Soto, Patrick Swaney, Matt Bell, Christopher Boucher, J. Bowers, Ron Carlson, Joe Celizic, Dan Moreau, Kelcey Parker, Molly Reid, Davy Rothbart, Jake Wolff, Ellen O’Connell, Chantel L. Tattoli, K.C. Wolfe, Kathleen Rooney, Elizabeth Crane. Thanks to Matthew Salesses, Cat Ennis, and Brooks Sterritt.
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#101 Elizabeth Crane: She’s Great


Elizabeth Crane was born in 1961 to a professor and an opera singer. She was a social and rambunctious child. The small family lived together until she was 6 years old and Elizabeth’s parents split up, which was disorienting (and at least part of the reason that Elizabeth didn’t marry until 34 years later). Elizabeth moved with her mother to New York City, which was overwhelming (the buildings too big, too physical, so dense). Elizabeth’s mother sang in operas that took them all over the US and Europe and Elizabeth sang opera too—until 5th grade, when she started writing fiction. She spent half of the summer in Iowa with her father’s new family. The rest of the year Elizabeth and her father wrote letters to each other, which Elizabeth loved. In 7th grade, she wrote a novella (based her half-sister as a creature that lived under the table). For college, she went to George Washington in DC, in an attempt to escape New York City. She kept writing, but didn’t learn anything from her writing teachers, which was a disappointment. After college, she moved back to New York City, which kind of sucked for another 10 years. She was trying to be creative and pay the rent and please her parents, and, well, you know. She had lots of different jobs, but didn’t like any of them. It was during this time that Elizabeth’s father bought Elizabeth her first computer, because he thought that any serious writer should have one. She kept writing, but it wasn’t until she read David Foster Wallace that Elizabeth realized that she could write like herself (instead of, say, Jane Austen). That’s when everything changed. She moved to Chicago even though she didn’t have a job, but finally felt like she belonged somewhere (so open, so beautiful, the lake). Her mother got cancer, which was terrible, but Elizabeth also realized that she needed to reconcile with her mother. Elizabeth tried to make amends for not being a good enough daughter, even though she was. Once, while she was talking, trying to explain, her mother fell asleep. When her mother died, Elizabeth realized that she needed to get on with her life. She took a year off from work and finished a novel that she had been working on for years. Her agent couldn’t place it, but, in the meantime, Elizabeth had been writing short stories. There was a mini-bidding war for the collection and Elizabeth burst out laughing when her agent told her the amount of the advance. Things have been pretty good ever since. She’s published three wonderful collections of short stories. She has a great husband who she met through friends (though she didn’t realize they were dating for the first two weeks of their relationship, not until he brought her flowers). And she has a dog named Percival Fontaine Barksdale, which—how great is that? Yeah, it’s pretty great.

More Elizabeth Crane

Buy one of Elizabeth Crane’s books
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