As his much-anticipated new novel The Typist reaches bookstores, Michael Knight looks back at his four previous books, all published by Grove Press:
Dogfight and Other Stories (1998)
Basically, this was my MFA thesis. When Grove reissued it in 2007, they wanted to know if I’d like to make any changes, so I had to go back and read it again. I worried I’d be chagrined by young me’s fiction but I was pleasantly surprised. I think, in some ways, the fact that I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote these stories freed me up to take chances I might not otherwise have taken.
Divining Rod (1998)
My first novel and the hardest of my books to write. The experience was a bit like trudging up an impossibly steep hill for two years, stumbling, falling, rolling backward, getting up again, climbing some more, then all of a sudden something clicked—I’m not sure I could articulate just what that something was—and I understood the story I’d been trying to tell and the writing was all downhill for the last six months. Grove will be reissuing this one in the fall as well.
Goodnight, Nobody (2003)
Some of the stories in here were a departure for me. I’d sort of figured out how to do certain things pretty well as a writer and as a consequence those things started to feel a little stale. I wanted to try something new, exercise different creative muscles. My favorite piece of my own fiction is in this collection, though I probably shouldn’t say which one. That’s a bit like naming a favorite child.
The Holiday Season (2007)
I think most writers would admit that almost nothing they write ever quite lives up to its potential, to what they hoped and wanted and imagined for it, but the title novella here comes pretty close. As close as anything I’ve written. Given the similar subjects it’s hard for me to remember sometimes that I never intended for these novellas to be published together. I campaigned, in fact, to have the title novella published alone. But my editor knew best. In the end, I think, she was right to package them together.