Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Terrific Tuesdays Releases: Go West, Young Man!

Following last Tuesday's meme, we would like to introduce our readers to a book just released today called West of Here by Jonathan Evison.  Last fall this book got more pre-publicity buzz among independent booksellers than any other winter title and now you can check it out for yourself.  Our good friend Craig at Algonquin Books sent advance reading copies of Evison's book several months ago because he knew we would be interested in supporting it.  In fact, we here at the Odyssey were so impressed with this new book that we made it our March selection for the First Edition Club!

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. Harkening back to the work of such masters of Americana as Bret Harte, Edna Ferber, and Larry McMurtry, this is a bold novel by a writer destined to become a major force in American literature.

Here's what Joan Grenier, co-owner and bookseller extraordinaire, has to say about West of Here

"I have never visited the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, until now, in this magnificent and brilliant saga. The description alone of the mountains, rivers, flora, and fauna would be enough to captivate me, but the story that Evison tells is at once both wonderfully epic and intimate in scope. Beyond the natural world, his tale spans more than 100 years--from Port Bonita’s earliest days until now—and gives us the history of its various inhabitants, both the indigenous peoples (the Klallam) and the white settlers and explorers.  When entrepreneurs build a dam on the Elwha River, it reduces the salmon run from over 400,000 to fewer than 4,000, and Evison explores the long-term ramifications of humankind’s interference with nature. For a time the town prospers, but in the early years of the twenty-first century the dam will be removed. Evison’s novel deftly weaves together the lives of more than forty characters (who span several generations) and the many challenges they face, including the Mather expedition that explored the uncharted interior of the Olympic Peninsula in 1889; Storm King, the blue-eyed mute son of Hoko born in 1880 during a gale-force storm; and the people who work at High Tide, the only seafood processor left in town in 2006.  Hint: this would be a wonderful book to curl up with during a winter storm, so stop by today before the entire Pioneer Valley is socked in!"


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