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LAUNCH for Jon Roemer / Five Windows
October 2, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Bindery hosts the launch party for Jon Roemer‘s debut novel Five Windows. More to be announced soon, but please save the date and join us!
At a busy intersection on a crammed city hillside, an overworked book editor looks up long enough to watch a trio of houses go up in flames. Once the smoke clears, he becomes increasingly concerned by what he sees out his windows and starts asking questions he never bothered with before: Is the encampment in the park responsible for the fires — or are his new upscale neighbors somehow to blame? Has the man upstairs even bothered to notice, or is his time better spent battling with his boyfriend? What’s his own ex-wife doing, resurfacing now just when things are getting tense? Is everyone safer with more fire trucks around? And, just a block down the hill, is the new mixed-use project the perfect urban remedy, or will it do even more damage?
By the time the duplex across the street catches fire, he has to face a few questions about himself, too, including his own role in the neighborhood’s upheaval. Inspired by Rear Window and set in San Francisco, Jon Roemer’s debut novel explores a fabled American city divided by rapid and aggressive change.
“A disquieting take on Rear Window set in contemporary San Francisco… Like Hitchcock, Roemer excels at establishing and then deepening the reader/viewer’s unease — but his interest is less in the plot complications that fuel Hitchcock’s film than in the psychological drama unfolding within the apartment as the publisher’s life implodes. Roemer’s achievement here is to discomfit the reader without sacrificing the story’s fundamental realism. This book reads, often, like a dystopian novel, but — disturbingly — it’s one set in a dystopia we already live in. A frightening fable about the watcher and the watched.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Jon Roemer knows his way around a sentence. From the first line through the last, readers feel they’re in the hands of an accomplished craftsman. Roemer’s writing is nuanced, controlled, and full of surprises. Five Windows follows a reclusive editor, obsessed with his neighbors and the turmoil of San Francisco in the throes of gentrification, but trapped inside a fishbowl of his own design. Roemer writes with an intimacy that becomes almost claustrophobic as our protagonist flirts with madness and the plot spirals toward its apocalyptic climax. An impressive, engrossing debut from a bold new voice.” – Alia Volz, author of Home Baked: My Mother, Marijuana and the Stoning of San Francisco
“Darkly funny and surreal, Five Windows is a timely, page-turning debut about alienation and breakdowns communal and individual.” – Vanessa Hua, author of A River of Stars
“Jon Roemer channels Hitchcock in this noirish stunner. An indie publisher watches with increasing horror as his San Francisco neighborhood is rattled by small explosions, fires, domestic disputes, demolition, gunshots, broken windows — a sinister series of skin-prickling accidents coming ever closer to home. In Roemer’s hands, the online “world of whispers” and the outside timeline of strange occurrances merge into an uncanny approximation of our times.” – Jane Ciabattari, author of Stealing the Fire
Jon Roemer is a writer and editor based in San Francisco. He is founder and senior editor of Outpost19, an award-winning book publisher. He is queer, a San Francisco resident since 1991 and an explorer of urban change. Roemer studied literature and fiction writing at Northwestern.
Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event. The bar opens at 7pm; event starts at 7:30pm.
As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Five Windows, order below and put your request in the comments field.