That’s the question that novelist Jonathan Evison puts before readers with protagonist Benjamin Benjamin in his latest novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. It’s not far into the novel that we learn that his loss is one of the deepest imaginable: his two young children have been killed in an accident which he may or may not have been responsible for. Ben is by turns vulnerable, self-effacing and angry as he tells his own story:
Listen to me: everything you think you know, every relationship you’ve ever taken for granted, every plan or possibility you’ve ever hatched, every conceit or endeavor you’ve ever concocted, can be stripped from you in an instant. Sooner or later, it will happen. So prepare yourself. Be ready not to be ready. Be ready to be brought to your knees and beaten to dust. Because no stable foundation, no act of will, no force of cautious habit will save you from this fact: nothing is indestructible.
Did you read The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving or Evison’s first two published novels, West of Here or All about Lulu? What questions do you have for Jonathan Evison?