In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (releasing June 24, 2016 as a Netflix Original Film titled The Fundamentals of Caring, starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez), Jonathan Evison, author of the new novel This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! and the New York Times bestseller West of Here, has crafted a novel of the heart, a story of unlikely heroes in a grand American landscape. For Ben Benjamin, all has been lost--his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. Hoping to find a new direction, he enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving, where he will learn to take care of people with disabilities. He is instructed about professionalism, about how to keep an emotional distance between client and provider, and about the art of inserting catheters while avoiding liability. But when Ben is assigned his first client--a tyrannical nineteen-year-old boy named Trevor, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy--he soon discovers that the endless service checklists have done nothing to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated teenager who has an ax to grind with the whole world. Over time, the relationship between Ben and Trev, which had begun with mutual misgivings, evolves into a close friendship, and the traditional boundaries between patient and caregiver begin to blur. The bond between them strengthens as they embark on a road trip to visit Trev’s ailing father--a journey rerouted by a series of bizarre roadside attractions that propel them into an impulsive adventure disrupted by one birth, two arrests, a freakish dust storm, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious brown Buick Skylark. By the end of that journey, Trev has had his first taste of love, and Ben has found a new reason to love life. Bursting with energy and filled with moments of absolute beauty, this big-hearted and inspired novel ponders life’s terrible surprises as well as what it takes to truly care for another human being.
the revised fundamentals of caregiving
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“Insightful, richly entertaining . . . Evison writes humanely and with good humor of his characters, who, like the rest of us, muddle through, too often without giving ourselves much of a break. A lovely, forgiving character study that’s a pleasure to read.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past. Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at the helm. Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother-daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, and forgiveness. “A terrific novel, funny and moving, wistful and wise. Jonathan Evison’s writing crackles on the page.” —Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins “This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is as sweet as it is inventive, profound as it is hilarious, unflinching as it is bighearted.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette “[An] irresistible, inventive novel full of important ideas about how we live our lives as parents, children, partners, and human beings . . . Evison is a ridiculously gifted storyteller.” —Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins “A generous and wise tale, told with Evison’s trademark verve and charisma, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is a deeply felt and deeply comforting novel.” —Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers “This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! has all the wonderful snap and sizzle we’ve come to expect from Jonathan Evison’s work, and as much heart as any novel I’ve read in recent years.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk “Both uplifting and melancholy, funny and thought-provoking, this entertaining read speaks directly to the importance of acceptance and healing.” —Booklist
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DEBUT FICTION For readers of This Is Where I Leave You and Everything Is Illuminated, “a brilliant and compelling family saga full of warmth, pathos, history and humor” (Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here) When the greatest female mathematician in history passes away, her son, Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch, just wants to mourn his mother in peace. But rumor has it the notoriously eccentric Polish émigré has solved one of the most difficult problems in all of mathematics, and has spitefully taken the solution to her grave. As a ragtag group of mathematicians from around the world descends upon Rachela’s shiva, determined to find the proof or solve it for themselves—even if it means prying up the floorboards for notes or desperately scrutinizing the mutterings of her African Grey parrot—Sasha must come to terms with his mother’s outsized influence on his life. Spanning decades and continents, from a crowded living room in Madison, Wisconsin, to the windswept beach on the Barents Sea where a young Rachela had her first mathematical breakthrough, The Mathematician’s Shiva is an unexpectedly moving and uproariously funny novel that captures humanity’s drive not just to survive, but to achieve the impossible.
When read at the right moment, a novel can change your life. Bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin know the power of a good book, and have been prescribing each other literary remedies for all life's aches and pains for decades. Together, they've compiled a medical handbook with a difference: a dictionary of literary cures for any malaise you can imagine. Whether it's struggling to find a good cup of tea (Douglas Adams, two sugars) or being in need of a good cry (Thomas Hardy, plus tissues), as well as cures for all kinds of reading ailments - from being a compulsive book buyer to a tendency to give up halfway through a novel - Ella and Susan have the tonic for all ailments, great or small. Written with authority, passion and wit, The Novel Cure is an enchanting reminder of the power and pleasure of forgetting your troubles in a good book.
At the foot of the Elwha River, the muddy outpost of Port Bonita is about to boom, fueled by a ragtag band of dizzyingly disparate men and women unified only in their visions of a more prosperous future. A failed accountant by the name of Ethan Thornburgh has just arrived in Port Bonita to reclaim the woman he loves and start a family. Ethan’s obsession with a brighter future impels the damming of the mighty Elwha to harness its power and put Port Bonita on the map. More than a century later, his great-great grandson, a middle manager at a failing fish- packing plant, is destined to oversee the undoing of that vision, as the great Thornburgh dam is marked for demolition, having blocked the very lifeline that could have sustained the town. West of Here is a grand and playful odyssey, a multilayered saga of destiny and greed, adventure and passion, that chronicles the life of one small town, turning America’s history into myth, and myth into a nation’s shared experience.
The true story of the first women to compete in Olympic track and field comes to life in this “rich and resonant” historical sports novel (Publishers Weekly). “A fascinating exploration of a little-known chapter in sports history. With gorgeous, restrained prose and a crystalline eye for detail, Victoria Patterson takes us on a thrilling journey of long odds and unbreakable spirit.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette The 1928 Amsterdam Olympics were the first games in which women were allowed to compete in track and field (and on a trial basis, at that). Nicknamed “the Peerless Four,” the Canadian track team included some of the strongest and most diversely talented women on the scene. These women and their chaperone embark on their journey with the same golden goals as every other Olympian, male or female. But as tensions begin to rise, each discovers new fears and new priorities, all while the weight of women’s future in the Olympics rests on their performance. The Peerless Four is more than a sports novel. It’s a meditation on sacrifice, loyalty, commitment, perseverance, and the courage to live a true underdog tale. “Patterson mates genres—sports and period fiction—and the result is surprisingly rich and resonant. . . . the author not only transcends categories but creates something poignant and memorable.” —Publishers Weekly “Stirring historical fiction and a great choice for book clubs.” —Booklist “The grittiest, booziest, toughest sports novel I’ve read in recent years . . . Patterson compels and entertains with prose perfectly fitted to this lean, surprising, unsentimental tale of female Olympiads in the late 1920s.” —Jonathan Evison, author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
Winner of the Alex Award “Mike Muñoz Is a Holden Caulfield for a New Millennium—a '10th-generation peasant with a Mexican last name, raised by a single mom on an Indian reservation' . . . Evison, as in his previous four novels, has a light touch and humorously guides the reader, this time through the minefield that is working-class America.” --The New York Times Book Review For Mike Muñoz, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work—and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew--he’s smart enough to know that he’s got to be the one to shake things up if he’s ever going to change his life. But how? He’s not qualified for much of anything. He has no particular talents, although he is stellar at handling a lawn mower and wielding clipping shears. But now that career seems to be behind him. So what’s next for Mike Muñoz? In this funny, biting, touching, and ultimately inspiring novel, bestselling author Jonathan Evison takes the reader into the heart and mind of a young man determined to achieve the American dream of happiness and prosperity--who just so happens to find himself along the way.
The Tenth Anniversary Edition, now with a new author's introduction and a foreword by J. Ryan Stadal Weakness has always been a concern for William Miller: growing up vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders will do that to a person. But William is further weakened by the death of his mother, the arrival of a new step-mother, and his irrepressible crush on his new step-sister, Lulu. As Lulu faces down her own challenges, William watches his life shift into tumult and despair. Once Lulu departs for college, Will goes into the world to find himself — discovering Western philosophy, a cruel dating world, enduring friendship, and, ultimately, his true calling. Emboldened by his turn as a late-night radio personality, Will rescues himself from the self-image of weakness he’d long wished to escape. This debut novel explores the fundamental difference between where we come from — and the endless possibilities of where we may go. I first read All About Lulu almost a decade ago, and you know what? It's still as audaciously brilliant as it was on first read, plumbing the depths of the cruel rhapsody of obsessive love, the pain of feeling different, and the deep pleasure of finally figuring out who you really are, and who you want to be. Devastatingly assured, wickedly funny, and sublimely moving, All About Lulu proves that Evison, so rightfully acclaimed, had that spark of genius right from the start. — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Cruel Beautiful World