Monday, February 7, 2011

Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison is the author of All About Lulu, which won the Washington State Book Award. In 2009, he was the recipient of a Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.

His new novel is West of Here.

From his Q & A with author Caroline Leavitt:

Where did the whole idea for West of Here come from and how did you manage to seemingly effortlessly juggle all the story and time lines?

Well, I wanted to bring the history of the Olympic Peninsula--the history of America, really--to life on the page. But I didn't want to write a historical novel, per se, rather a novel about history, about footprints, who makes them and who follows them, etc. And rather than employ a wide-angle lens to historicize the material, I wanted my lens to be a kaleidoscope of overlapping limited points-of-view, so that the living history which I sought to create, was democratic. In my experience, most "histories" only tell one side of the story. As far as juggling all those POV's, it wasn't effortless--it was a big fat pain in the ass, but in the end, exhilarating.

Gertie, one of my favorite characters in the book, says that a “person is made up of choices”, an idea which keeps playing out through the book. But how much real choice do you think we have in our own choices, especially when we are hurtling through the forces of history?

Well, for starters, you have the choice to complain or make lemonade, as it were. I think this fundamental choice in outlook has a far-reaching effect on any life, and also on all the lives that touch that life. Determination and optimism are choices, and from what I've observed, they can...[read on]
Visit Jonathan Evison's website.

The Page 99 Test: All About Lulu

--Marshal Zeringue