Jonathan Evison

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Jonathan Evison
Jonathan Evison.jpg
Jonathan Evison
Born 1968
San Jose, California
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Genre Literary Fiction

Jonathan Evison (born 1968), is an American writer best known for his novels All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving and This is Your Life Harriet Chance!. His work, often distinguished by its emotional resonance and offbeat humor, has been compared by critics to a variety of authors, most notably J.D. Salinger,[1] Charles Dickens, T.C. Boyle,[2] and John Irving.[3] Sherman Alexie has called Evison "the most honest white man alive."[4]


Evison's debut novel, All About Lulu, published in 2008 by Soft Skull Press, won critical acclaim, including the Washington State Book Award, and landed on many year-end “Best of” lists, including Hudson Booksellers, where it enjoyed the added distinction of being the only independent title selected in 2008. The L Magazine included All About Lulu in its Best Books of the Decade.[5] Evison's second novel, the New York Times Bestselling West of Here, was released in 2011 by Algonquin Books. West of Here won the 2012 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and the Booklist Editor's Choice Award, and was named Book of the Year by Hudson Booksellers. Editor Chuck Adams (Water for Elephants, A Reliable Wife, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England) has called West of Here the best novel he's worked on in over four decades of publishing.[6] His third novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, released in 2012, was also widely acclaimed, earning him his second Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award in as many years. In the New York Times, Janet Maslin called the novel "Evison's most stealthily powerful novel." Upon its release, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving was optioned for film by Rob Burnett of Worldwide Pants, and was produced in 2015, starring Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, and Craig Roberts. The film was release in 2016 as a Netflix original.[7] Evison's fourth novel, This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! was published in fall of 2015, and soon after optioned by Focus Features, where it is currently in development. His fifth novel, Mike Munoz Saves the World! is scheduled for publication in 2017.

He is the executive editor of The Nervous Breakdown, where among other duties, he curates the national book club. He was the first guest on author and podcaster Brad Listi's podcast Other People.


Evison was born in San Jose, California, September 27, 1968, the youngest of five children. In 1976, his mother relocated the family to Bainbridge Island, Washington, when he was eight-years-old. He credits his third grade teacher for making a writer out of him: "A lot of stuff, including my sister’s death, and my parents’ crumbling marriage, made for a rough patch around then. Also, my mania was practically off the charts. I ran my teachers ragged. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Hanford, god love her, recognized that I liked to write, so she finally started sitting me in a corner and just letting me write, and in doing so, accomplished two things: She negated a huge distraction for the rest of the class, and she made a writer out of me."[8] 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. He graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1986, before moving back to California to care for his agoraphobic grandmother.[9] He attended community college at College of San Mateo off and on for three years, never receiving a degree. Evison allegedly wrote six unpublished novels before the publication of All About Lulu, physically burying three of them,[10] and purportedly burning all of his rejection letters.,[11] while working as a laborer, a caregiver, a bartender, a telemarketer, a car salesman, and a syndicated radio host. In this latter incarnation, he was the writer, producer, and host of the award winning comedy show, Shaken, Not Stirred.

Evison is renowned for his extensive and colorful book touring,[12] and his love of beer.[13] In 2009 and 2011 he was nominated by the American Book Association as Most Engaging Author.[14]

He lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state with his wife and two children.


Awards & Honors[edit]

All About Lulu

  • 2008 Hudson Booksellers Best Books of the Year
  • 2009 Washington State Book Award
  • 2009 Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation
  • The El Magazine Best Books of the Decade
  • Time Out Chicago Best Books of the Year

West of Here

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • 2012 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award
  • 2012 Hudson Booksellers Best Books of the Year
  • September 2012 Indie Next Pick
  • Publishers Weekly "BEA Galley to Grab" and "Top Ten: Literary Fiction" pick
  • 2012 Booklist Editors Choice Award

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

  • New York Times Editors Choice
  • 2012 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award
  • 2012 Hudson Booksellers Best Books of the Year
  • September 2012 Indie Next pick
  • Publishers Weekly “Top Ten: Literary Fiction” pick

This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!

  • 2015 Chicago Library Best of the Best Book List
  • 2015 Pacific Norhtwest Bookseller Award (finalist)


  • 2009, 2011 & 2012 American Booksellers Association "Most Engaging Author" (Nominee)
  • 2013 Above and Beyond Award, Honoring Literary Citizenship (Nominee)

External links[edit]


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