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Jonathan Evison’s Small World is an epic novel for now. Set against such iconic backdrops as the California gold rush, the development of the transcontinental railroad, and a speeding train of modern-day strangers forced together by fate, it is a grand entertainment that asks big questions.
The characters of Small World connect in the most intriguing and meaningful ways, winning, breaking, and winning our hearts again. In exploring the passengers’ lives and those of their ancestors more than a century before, Small World chronicles 170 years of American nation-building from numerous points of view across place and time. And it does it with a fullhearted, full-throttle pace that asks on the most human, intimate scale whether it is truly possible to meet, and survive, the choices posed—and forced—by the age.
The result is a historical epic with a Dickensian flair, a grand entertainment that asks whether our nation has made good on its promises. It dazzles as its characters come to connect with one another through time. And it hits home as it probes at our country’s injustices, big and small, straight through to its deeply satisfying final words.
About the Author
Jonathan Evison is the author of the novels All About Lulu; West of Here; The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving; This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!; Lawn Boy; and Legends of the North Cascades. He lives with his wife and family in Washington State.
Praise for Small World:
“This is more than a sprawling, big-hearted, blue-collar novel, it’s a Dickensian saga on a grand American scale, filled with beauty and violence, tragedy and redemption. This is the kind of historical fiction that keeps you up all night, burning in your veins like kerosene.”—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
"A creative, insightful work of fiction. Evison pulls off a wonderful high-wire act of storytelling that few would attempt, and even fewer could achieve so sharply!"—Jason Mott, author of Hell of a Book
“Evison gives the story a sprightly, page-turner feel despite the sizable cast he’s assembled…Without being simplistic or wearing rose-colored glasses, Evison suggests a fresh way of recognizing our relationships without melting-pot clichés. A bighearted, widescreen American tale.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Masterpiece…Such masterful strokes seem to qualify Small World as the quintessential Great American Novel as Evison eloquently shows that perhaps the most authentically American ideal is the ongoing, blended palette of stories.”—Booklist, starred review
“Ambitious…Evison’s depiction of the characters’ family histories builds significance as contemporary racial inequalities and class disparities are brought into relief against those of the 1850s…Thick with insights.”—Publishers Weekly