Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What is Jonathan Evison reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here.

His entry begins:
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus

Recently, I've been revisiting Allan Gurganus's brilliant Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. Usually when I mention this debut, a lot is made of the splash it created in 1989, spending eight months on the New York Times bestseller list, and selling (I believe) over four million copies. People often recall the dreadful CBS mini-series with Cicely Tyson. Or that their mom read it. What seems to get overlooked twenty-some years later is what a major literary achievement OLCWTA is. I'd number it among the best handful of debuts I ever read, along with one of my favorite southern novels. I'd number it among the best...[read on]
Among the early praise for West of Here:
A "booming, bighearted epic."
--Vanity Fair

"A big novel about the discovery and rediscovery of nature, starting over, and the sometimes piercing reverberations of history, this is a damn fine book."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Evison, author of this audacious historical novel, manages a near-impossible feat: first, he creates an almost absurdly complex narrative structure, bridging more than 100 years of life in Washington State and encompassing multiple points of view, and then he grounds the sublime architechtonic whole in the vividly realized daily lives of characters who exist completely in their individual moments but whose actions reverberate back and forth across time ... [This] is a testament to the books' greatness."
--Booklist (starred review)
Learn more about the book and author at Jonathan Evison's website.

Evison is also 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.

Jonathan Evison's six favorite books.

The Page 99 Test: All About Lulu

Writers Read: Jonathan Evison.

--Marshal Zeringue