Kingdom of the Young: an interview with Edie Meidav and Kevin Salem

By Becky Wandel and Katie Donegan

Edie Meidav is a professor in the Humanities and Fine Arts’ MFA program at UMass. Her new book Kingdom of the Young is set to hit the shelves next month. She will kick off her book tour here at UMass on April 6th, accompanied by Kevin Salem, a musician and friend who produced an album to accompany the short story collection.

Meidav’s collection of short stories, Kingdom of the Young, explore her bohemian youth of wonderlust and adventure.

“These stories more than my other novels are an attempt to heal the wound of otherness,” says Meidav.

Kevin Salem composed an album with the same name, but the music isn’t meant to be listened to “like background music” while people read the book, says Salem. In a way, the project was a challenge for both artists in non-revision.

“I decided to approach music the way that she writes books,” Salem says. And what he means by that is to sit down and compose the first thoughts and ideas that come to mind.

The two collaborators don’t work in the traditional sense.

“We don’t sit down and discuss it. It’s kind of like our little artistic high five to each other,” Salem says.

“I always think that it’s not that you make a friend, it’s that you recognize a friend,” Meidav says about her friendship with Salem.