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Original Essays | August 21, 2014 0 comments
Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
Jonathan EvisonDescribe your latest project.
I've been working on a real beast for the past two years three, if you count the research. It's very different from All about Lulu. It's called West of Here and is much larger in scope. Third person, a gazillion POVs. Bigfoot, naked Indians, Colonel Sanders, a lot of ecological destruction. Maybe it's a disaster, but I don't care; it's exhilarating if nothing else, though at times a bit overwhelming. I really believe in challenging myself, pushing myself to new places. I have to wake up at five in the morning six days a week just to keep a handle on this thing, but that's not a complaint. I wouldn't have it any other way. The good news is it's very close to being done, and I can take a little breather.
Maybe hacking up roadkill with a machete and feeding it to captive grizzly bears in Oregon. I was volunteering at a wildlife rehab center. That's the job they gave me. I also worked as a professional heckler. I had to serve spaghetti at that job, too that was the only drawback.
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start.
Writers are better liars than other people: true or false?
Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?
Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin?
Who's wilder on tour, rock bands or authors?
I may be the exception to the rule when it comes to touring authors. I think the old school is long overdue for an overhaul no wine and cheese and suede elbow patches for this cowboy. I'm rolling out a real circus for my summer '08 tour (13 cities), and it all peaks in Bakersfield (yes, Bakersfield), where the local literati are really rolling out the red carpet for this debut novelist we're talking amateur bodybuilding, a house party, and a hotdog social to go along with my appearance at Russo's Books! I ask you, are they doing this for me in New York? Los Angeles? Chicago? I'm serious. I'm bringing a whole entourage. First and foremost, is my "tour manager" and agent of chaos, John Brooks, who provides an excellent counterpoint to yours truly and always, always picks up the bar tab (love that!). Brooks stubbornly refuses to read books not even my books. No books at all. Refreshing, no? My pal Justin is coming to film the whole tour primarily because he enjoys the bickering repartee between Brooks and me, and he likes to egg it on. I'd like to do free hotdogs at Powell's on July 29, too. Can I do free hotdogs? I don't need a permit or anything if they're free, right? People like free stuff and hotdogs that's kinda the touchstone of my whole tour: free stuff and hotdogs. And any authors reading this better not try and steal my idea!
Talk about your vision of the ideal life.
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
Books about the Spirit of California, by California Writers:
McTeague by Frank Norris
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Ask the Dust by John Fante
The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
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Jonathan Evison likes rabbits. His work had appeared in the Portland Review, Orchid, Knock, Opium, Quick Fiction, and other journals. All about Lulu is his first novel.