Kimberly King Parsons, author of We Were the Universe

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Thu, 06/13/2024 - 10:30am to 11:30am
Cover of "We Were the Universe" by Kimberly King Parsons
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Author Kimberly King Parsons (photo courtesy of Evelynne Gomes Greenberg)

On today's episode, we welcome Kimberly King Parsons, author of the new novel We Were the Universe, from Knopf. Her story collection, Black Light, which came out in 2019, was longlisted for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. Kim’s a recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and Columbia University, and won the 2020 National Magazine Award for “Foxes,” a story first published in The Paris Review. Kim was born in Lubbock, Texas, the birthplace of Buddy Holly, and now lives here in Portland.

We Were the Universe is a Dakota Johnson Book Club pick, and already a bestseller. In the words of fellow Portland writer Karen Russell, “We Were the Universe is a grief-and-lust-and-breastmilk saturated psychedelic journey, a story told in the eternal present of an acid trip and the spiraling everyday life of a young Texan mother, pushing her daughter’s stroller around an unspeakable loss. This novel is a tonal masterpiece, a record I want to spin forever, and I feel so lucky that I can return to its deep magic.”

I’ve interviewed Kim twice before, for Black Light and then for a short story all stars roundtable with Kim, Karen Russell, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Margaret Malone. I knew this novel was in the works for several years now, and it was a great pleasure to read it and talk with Kim once again!

btw, Kim will be doing an online reading for CRAFT magazine’s Summer Salon on Thursday, June 27th and teaching an online class at Hugo House on writing young narrators on Saturday, August 24th.

You can listen to the longer version of our interview online at:


Author photo courtesy of Evelynne Gomes Greenberg

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