Arts and Entertainment

An acclaimed author captures Seattle’s heady days

Award-winning author Jim Lynch will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Land Trust Building. - Courtesy Photo
Award-winning author Jim Lynch will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Land Trust Building.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Jim Lynch, an award-winning novelist from Olympia, will come to Vashon next week to discuss his latest bestseller, “Truth Like the Sun.”

The book, just out in a paperback edition, has won a raft of accolades from top critics — including an inclusion by New York Times critic Janet Maslin on her list of 10 favorite books from 2012.

“Gimmick-free and uncategorizable, this is just a flat-out great read with the spirit of a propulsive, character-driven 1970s movie,” Maslin wrote.

The book tells a two-track tale, set in Seattle in the years 1962 and 2001, that whips readers back and forth between the heady days of the city’s World’s Fair and millennial times, just after the city’s dot com bubble had begun to deflate.

The story’s main characters — a civic booster and World’s Fair mastermind with a mysterious past, and the tenacious female reporter who must ferret out his secrets — are richly drawn by the author. But the city of Seattle itself also plays a starring role in the book, with long, evocative passages that firmly capture all the quirks, grandeur and squalor of a misty city framed by almost absurdly scenic views.

Lynch tells the story like the native he is — he grew up in the Seattle area before embarking on a career as a newspaperman that took him to  Alaska, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Spokane, Portland and eventually back to Seattle. His national honors for journalism have included the H.L. Mencken Award and Livingston Young Journalist Award for National Reporting.

In 2005, he published his first novel, “The Highest Tide,” which won the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Award and went on to become an international bestseller. His second novel, “Border Songs,” published in 2009, picked up the Washington State Book Award as well as the Indie’s Choice Honor Book Award.

Both books — also set in the Northwest — were adapted for the stage by Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theater, and film and television rights for the novels have also been sold.

And now, with “Truth Like the Sun,” Lynch has continued to chronicle his region — a place of towering mountains, deep water, tall trees and equally outsized human ambition.


Meet the Author: Jim Lynch will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Land Trust Building. The event, presented by the Vashon Library, is free. Copies of the book are available at the library, now temporarily relocated in Vashon Plaza, and the Vashon Bookshop.


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