Five Fast Questions . . . with Jonathan Evison

Five Fast Questions is Rakestraw’s weekly interview series. This week, we talk with Jonathan Evison, a bestselling novelist. The author of  All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, and the recently published This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance, he is the winner of several awards including the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and a Rakestraw Book of the Year. Born in San Jose, California, he now lives on an island in Western Washington. "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving", starring Paul Rudd, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
1. What inspired you to write This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance?

I generally write about characters who are marginalized by the larger culture, and that definitely applies to elderly women. When I was seventeen, I took care of my agoraphobic grandma. I was the only person in the entire motor court under sixty-five. Many of my neighbors were elderly widows. The conventional wisdom is that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But I watched eighty-year-old women reinventing themselves, once they were finally out from under the shadow of their husbands.

2. What are you currently reading?

I just finished Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle, and I'm about to (finally!) start J. Ryan Stradal's Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

3. Do you have a favorite book of all time? If so, what is it and why?

Oh, man, that is so unfair! I can't pick one! I just can't do it. I can't even make a top ten. I love too many books.

4. Are you working on a writing project now? Can you tell us about it?

I just finished a novel called Mike Munoz Saves the World! It's The Great American Landscaping Novel. Think The Adventures of Augie March meets Ask the Dust, with a little bit of Voltaire in there.

5. What album or artist is in heavy rotation on your playlist these days?

Always Wilson Picket. And Joe Tex. Love that 60s soul music. Been listening to a lot of Loretta Lynn lately, too. Especially the duets with Conway Twitty. Satin Sheets, and all that. Also, the most recent Mountain Goats album.