Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jim Lynch

Video by Carla Perry

Introduction by Marianne Klekacz:
Jim Lynch's first novel, The Highest Tide, was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. It's loosely described as a "coming-of-age fable." I'm not sure that description does the book justice. From the wonderful foreshadowing on page 2 -- " freakish summer in which I was ambushed by science, fame, and suggestions of the divine"­- Lynch had me. I read the book in one sitting.

Lately, I've been chatting with a number of folks about the things we seem to lose as we "grow up" ­the sense of wonder, the less-jaded eye, the curiosity, those sorts of things. It takes a skilled and thoughtful writer to reconstruct the sense and sensibilities of childhood and adolescence and to reproduce those on the page. Jim Lynch is clearly both skilled and thoughtful.

Like Harper Lee's Scout Finch and J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, "little Miles O'Malley," self-described wimpy nerd, teeters on the brink of big life changes. He guides us through a momentous summer in his adolescence with the unflinching eye of "an increasingly horny thirteen-year-old" who looks about nine but is blessed with a brain that wraps itself around the events in the story in a sophisticated way. He took me by the hand, and I gladly shared his journey.
The Highest Tide
Jim Lynch's second novel, Border Songs, will be released this summer. I can hardly wait.
Lynch grew up on a lake near Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1985, with degrees in creative writing and journalism, he worked as a reporter in a tiny Alaskan fishing town. He then escaped for Washington, D.C., where he wrote columns for syndicated muckraker Jack Anderson and short fiction for literary magazines.

When he returned to the Northwest, it was to Spokane, where his stories won national honors including the Livingston Young Journalist Award. Later, he wrote for The Seattle Times and served four years as the Portland Oregonian's Puget Sound reporter. He now devotes himself full-time to writing fiction. Lynch lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

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1 comment:

  1. You guys have such a cool thing going there. Writers on the Edge may be the best forum in the Northwest for writers and readers and listeners. Better than the big-city bookstores and libraries. Better than the lecture halls and slam poetry bars. The location is heavenly and the events are so efficiently run with a loyal throng of word lovers and an inspiring open mic tradition of talented locals anchored by the incomparable Andrew Rodman. The whole evening, including the subsequent overflow into a loud dive bar, hit all the right notes and reminded me of the irresistible side of writing that hooked me in my teens and never let go. I intend to spread the word.