As he told it, at 3 a.m., just five hours before he was to speak in front of a breakfast throng of nearly 200 indie booksellers, Jonathan Evison hailed a cab from the hotel and headed to Kinkos. He had made the decision that he didn’t want to cry.
Evison needed help to tell his story, a slim piece of paper to act as a buffer between his own story and the story of his latest book. In short, he wanted to avoid a podium breakdown similar to the one he suffered in front of several hundred librarians at The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving coming out party at Book Expo America this spring.
Revised Fundamentals is funny. It’s thoughtful. It’s a road novel. It’s a story of redemption born from tragedy—but adding up all of these selling points comes nowhere close to the weight of knowing how and why this story came to life.
As it turned out, the handout didn’t keep Evison from crying. But when he did, it was open and easy, cathartic. It had a made-some-progress-at-therapy-this-week kind of feel. It wasn’t uncomfortable to witness. It was sweet; it was rare, and it made me want to experience the book all over again.
Read Evison’s handout, “Filling Holes,” here.