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Jonathan Evison on hitting bottom and becoming a writer [video]

April 24, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg

Bestselling novelist Jonathan Evison dropped by our video booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books to talk with L.A. Times columnist Robin Abcarian about "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving," his novel that has just been released in paperback. 

The book is about a middle-aged man whose life has bottomed out and who takes a night course in caregiving -- "he learns to insert catheters and avoid liability," Evison explains, showing some of the book's wry humor. The protagonist finds himself taking care of a profane teenage boy with muscular dystrophy. Evison likes to think of the story as the New Yorker described it, "a secular saint's journey."


Evison is a California native with a fondness for L.A. literature. "John Fante sealed my fate as a hopeless young alcoholic misfit," he admits. "I discovered John Fante when I was 17 years old -- strangely not through Charles Bukowski, but through William Saroyan, who was his drinking buddy."

For more on Evison's inluences, failures and successes, click on the video above.


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