Jonathan Lee In conversation with Colin Winnette
Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

celebrating the release of

 

HIGH DIVE

 

published by Alfred Knopf

This event is co-sponsored by Electric Literature.

In September 1984, a bomb was planted in the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, set to explode on the day Margaret Thatcher and her entire cabinet would be staying there. High Dive takes us inside this audacious assassination attempt, and also into the hearts and minds of a group of unforgettable characters. Nimbly weaving together fact and fiction, comedy and tragedy, the story switches among the perspectives of Dan, a young IRA bomb maker; Moose, a former star athlete gone to seed, now the career-minded deputy hotel manager; and Freya, his teenage daughter, trying to decide what comes after high school. A novel of laughter and heartbreak, this is an indelible portrait of clashing loyalties, doubt, guilt, and regret, and of how individuals become the grist of history.

Jonathan Lee is a British writer whose recent short stories have appeared in Tin House, Granta, and Narrative, among other magazines. High Dive is his first novel to be published in the U.S. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is an editor at the literary journal A Public Space, a contributing editor for Guernica, and a regular contributor to The Paris Review Daily.

Colin Winnette is the author of several books, most recently, Haints Stay (Two Dollar Radio) and the SPD best seller COYOTE. He is the associate editor at PANK magazine. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Believer, Lucky Peach, and numerous other publications. He lives in San Francisco.

Electric Literature is an independent publisher whos mission is to guide writers and readers through a rapidly evolving publishing landscape. By embracing new technologies and mixed media, collaborating with other publishers, and engaging the literary community online and in-person, Electric Literature aims to support writers while broadening the audience of literary fiction, and ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture."

What has been said about the work of Jonathan Lee:

"In fluent, agile prose Jonathan Lee takes on one of the more famous assassination plots in recent history with striking evenhandedness and depth. His novel offers a funny, gripping, and ultimately tragic view into the life of a young IRA man and the dear price he, and his victims, pay during the dark years of the Troubles."
 —Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

"High Dive is a novel so smart and compassionate and beautifully written that it asks for total immersion. A reader will hold her breath for long, perfectly-paced stretches, and she will surface, dizzied, at the end."
—Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

"High Dive is a fascinating look into a troubled past. In taut scene after taut scene, with a fine style and wit among the carnage, Jonathan Lee does service to history and the novel both."
—Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End
 
"With wry wit and profound tenderness, Jonathan Lee's High Dive highlights the tensions—between hope and heartbreak, struggle and surrender—at the intersection of the mundane and the momentous. A bold, thrilling triumph of a book."
—Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife

"Jonathan Lee is a writer of stylish concision, humour, wisdom, and danger."
—Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins

"A completely absorbing novel about the lives of people who struggle in small and massive ways. Lee's writing is poignant, fluid, and very funny. Above all else it feels honest—you can see yourself in all of his characters. I really did love this book, and I'm still thinking and worrying about it."
—Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing
 
"High Dive is both wistful and very funny. It is also genuinely lyrical. But more than anything, what distinguishes it from so many other novels is its rare sincerity."
—Alexander Maksik, author of A Marker to Measure Drift

“Every assassination is a plot with personal history and national history intertwined, action and inaction offsetting each other, misstep transforming into opportunity, luck submitting to fate. Jonathan Lee is a virtuoso storyteller, combining the skills of a historian, a reporter, a criminal psychologist, and most importantly, a close observer of the complexity of everyday life. What a thrilling new novel.”
—Yiyun Li, author of Kinder Than Solitude