I’ve written before about my adoration of Jonathan Evison’s forthcoming novel, West of Here. It’s a big, beautiful, sprawling tale of the American experience, set in fictional Port Bonita, Washington, and rooted in two eras: the town’s founding, and its pioneers’ headlong rush toward the future, and 2006, as their descendants try to unwind the mistakes of the past.
Algonquin, Evison’s publisher, has put an incredible effort into the book, and it shows. More than a month before its February 15th release, the book has sold out its first printing. This is going to be a huge novel. I highly recommend adding it to your reading list.
While you’re waiting for the book, why not pay a visit to Port Bonita? The uber-cool website for the book allows you to do just that.
The level of detail is just stunning. There are beautifully rendered maps and postcards of a place that sprung whole from Evison’s imagination. You can read excerpts from the book, a bit about Evison (who is a fascinating story unto himself), and a love letter from Evison’s editor, Chuck Adams, that makes it clear why Algonquin is betting so heavily on West of Here. I’d say it’s a wise bet.
Go there. Now.