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Haven Kimmel (born 1965) is an American author and storyteller. She was born in New Castle, Indiana, and was raised in Mooreland, Indiana, the locus of her bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana (2001).

Kimmel earned her undergraduate degree in English and creative writing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and a graduate degree from North Carolina State University, where she studied with novelist Lee Smith. She also attended seminary at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana. She lives in Durham, North Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Haven Kimmel was a poet before writing A Girl Named Zippy. The Solace of Leaving Early (2002) and Something Rising (Light and Swift) (2004) are the first two novels in Kimmel's planned "trilogy of place" about fictional Hopwood County, Indiana. Her other major works include the memoir She Got Up Off the Couch (2005); a poetic children's book, Orville: A Dog Story (2003); and a retelling of the book of Revelation in Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004), edited by Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet.

Who Haven's parents are is in dispute. Carol Doup Muller of the Seattle Times says, "[I]f Bailey White and Garrison Keillor had a love child", her name would be Zippy. But Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors disagrees: "She's the love child of Anne Tyler and David Sedaris." Lawrence Naumoff says, "Haven herself looks like the love child of Rita Hayworth and J.D. Salinger". My parental 'dream team'? Edna St. Vincent Millay and Alfred North Whitehead.

Miscellaneous Notes & Esoterica
  • I posted a far less funny version of this bio on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.

  • Haven was nominated for two Southeast Booksellers Association (SEBA) awards in 2003 (Solace for fiction and Zippy for non-fiction), and Orville was nominated for a 2004 SEBA award in the Children's category. Orville won a 2003 Blue Ribbon award from The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Haven has also received two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants.

  • Haven Kimmel is represented by Christopher Schelling at Ralph Vicinanza Ltd. Her editor at The Free Press (Simon & Schuster) is Amy Schiebe.

  • Alice Seybold writes in Lucky, A Memoir about two dormitories at Syracuse University, one named Haven and one named Kimmel: "The next day I traversed the road from Haven to Kimmel, my skin on fire" [93].

PHOTO: Haven Kimmel
     

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Haven Kimmel's official site is http://www.HavenKimmel.com/