West of Here: Book summary and reviews of West of Here by Jonathan Evison

West of Here

By Jonathan Evison

West of Here
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011,
    496 pages.

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Book Summary

Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington State's rugged Pacific coast, West of Here is propelled by a story that both re-creates and celebrates the American experience - it is storytelling on the grandest scale. With one segment of the narrative focused on the town's founders circa 1890 and another showing the lives of their descendants in 2006, the novel develops as a kind of conversation between two epochs, one rushing blindly toward the future and the other struggling to undo the damage of the past.

An exposition on the effects of time, on how something said or done in one generation keeps echoing through all the years that follow, and how mistakes keep happening and people keep on trying to be strong and brave and, most important, just and right, West of Here harks back to the work of such masters of Americana as Bret Harte, Edna Ferber, and Larry McMurtry, writers whose fiction turned history into myth and myth into a nation’s shared experience. It is a bold novel by a writer destined to become a major force in American literature.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Fans of Jess Walter and Jim Lynch will be thrilled to find another author whose love for the Pacific Northwest and its people shines through with humor and clarity." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. 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

"Intelligent, insightful, poignant, funny, endlessly entertaining and perpetually thought-provoking, West of Here announces Evison as a major new voice in American fiction." - David Liss, author of Whiskey Rebels

"Evison bravely sets out to conquer big stories and big themes, and the result is a daring, gorgeously structured and deeply satisfying expedition of a novel." - James P. Othmer author of The Futurist

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Author Information

Jonathan Evison Author Biography

Photo: Algonquin Books

Jonathan Evison is the author of All About Lulu (2008), which won critical acclaim, including the Washington State Book Award. In 2009, Evison was awarded a Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. A second novel, West of Here, was released in February 2011 from Algonquin. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving was published in August 2012.

In his teens, Evison was the founding member and frontman of the Seattle punk band March of Crimes, which included future members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

Born in San Jose, California, he now lives on an island in Western Washington.

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