Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Former Punk Rocker Writes about Old Ladies Reinventing Themselves (This is Your Life, Harriet Chance, by Jonathan Evison)

| 0 comments

51ZU0P0zz9LJonathan Evison fronted the Seattle punk rock band March of Crimes in his youth, and other members of the band went on to join Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.  Evison has found a different kind of stage.

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, a movie based on his third novel and starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez, will be released in 2016.  His latest novel is just out, This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, and Parnassus Books hosts Evison and author Adam Ross in conversation this Thursday at 6:30.  I expect explosions of wit and intellect!  (It has also been observed – at readings – that Evison “really likes to crack open a brew and shoot the breeze with his readers” – but that was in 2011.  These days?  We shall see!)

Here are a few other tidbits that the interviewer at Kirkus Review found out about Evison:  

“In his twenties and thirties he worked a string of truly odd jobs: digging ditches for a landscaper, hacking road kill for a wildlife refuge, hawking sunglasses over the telephone (“the challenge was that I could only describe what they looked like”), and taking care of a disabled boy, an experience that inspired his critically acclaimed third novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving….

‘My characters are usually marginalized by society in some way,’ says Evison, whose own reputation as a writer has moved from the margins to the mainstream.  His eagerly anticipated new book, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, features a spry, spunky 78-year-old woman (Ms. Chance) setting sail on an Alaskan cruise in the wake of her husband’s death.  With the unlikely appearance of her estranged daughter, the unlikelier appearance of her dead husband and unwelcome company of a big Kentucky redneck in a ‘Look Don’t Touch’ T-shirt, Harriet’s sailing isn’t smooth, but for readers it’s a great ride.

jonathanevison‘I’ve always been interested in old people as characters,’ says Evison, who once lived in a motor home park full of senior citizens.  ‘The whole place was 80-year-old women.  Who is more marginalized in our culture than elderly women?  Nobody really pays any attention to them except the medical industry,’ he says.  ‘What always impressed me was watching so many of them reinvent themselves after their husbands passed away.’”

Evison is onto something about self-reinvention – and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

 

 

Leave a Reply