"Before the Wind" released April 19

"Before the Wind" is a funny big-hearted novel about a gifted and volatile family obsessed with sailing. It's also about online dating and Albert Einstein. Set in Seattle, Victoria and Olympia, much of the novel unfolds on the water in this two-decade odyssey of the Johannssen family.


Upcoming Readings
April 26, Seattle, Third Place Books, 7 pm
April 27, Seattle, Elliott Bay Books, 7 pm
April 28, Portland, OR, Powell's, 7:30 pm
April 30, Edmonds, WA, Edmonds Bookshop, noon
For more, see event page

"In short, aficionados will be immediately hooked, and pretty soon so will anyone impervious to the call of the sea because this novel, Jim Lynch’s third, is a brilliantly crafted family story that moves with the speed and elegance of one of the racing boats it so lovingly describes. ... An exhilharating read." -- The Washington Times

"An affectionate and very funny tribute to the gentle madness of sailing diehards.... (Lynch's) hilarious gloss on the Viagra commercial that confusingly features a middle-aged man alone on a boat is worth the cover price on its own." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Not just any writer could weave a story about sailing, speed dating, dysfunctional family dynamics and Albert Einstein into an emotionally resonant novel, but Jim Lynch is the man for it." -- The Seattle Times

"Lynch’s considerable talents have successfully expanded these often-seen characters into a larger idea: what could have been formulaic instead becomes mythic." -- The National Post (Canada)

"Jim Lynch does for sailing what "A River Runs Through It" did for fly-fishing."
-- Luis Alberto Urrea, "Hummingbird's Daughter"

"Glorious. Put a rambunctious family clan of misfits and genius sailors in Jim Lynch's masterful hands, and what you get is a gorgeous, full-bodied novel that contains pretty much all of life, from the agonies of online dating and boat repair to Einstein's sublime quest for a `simple and beautiful' unifying theory of everything."
--Ben Fountain, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"

“Lynch brings his usual gifts—a wide-ranging mind, an ear for precise but musical language, empathy, intelligence, and imagination—to what may be his best yet. I so loved this book!” —Karen Joy Fowler, "Jane Austen's Book Club"

"From the first paragraph I was hooked by Jim Lynch's language, his humor, his wisdom. The characters are marvelous, the storytelling confident and rollicking; the whole book a delight and a surprise." --Maria Semple, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"

Advance Praise in Canada

"Before the Wind is a barn burner of a book. A perfectly weighted narrative that tacks gracefully between humour and pathos, a cast of compelling oddballs, and enough arcane lore of hardcore mariners and science geeks to make your head spin with wonder. A great read." -- Michael Crummey, Sweetland

"I felt a profound intimacy with the Johanssens and wished I could have spent just a little more time in their fierce, obsessive, beautiful world."
--Craig Davidson, Scotiabank Giller Prize nominated author of Cataract City.