Five Windows

Jon Roemer (Author)


"Darkly funny and surreal, FIVE WINDOWS is a timely, page-turning debut about alienation and breakdowns communal and individual."
- Vanessa Hua, author of River of Stars

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 home 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 Hitchcock's Rear Window and set in San Francisco, Jon Roemer's debut novel explores a fabled American city divided by rapid and aggressive change.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Dzanc Books
Publish Date
September 24, 2019
5.4 X 0.7 X 8.4 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Jon Roemer is a writer and editor based in San Francisco. He is publisher and senior editor of Outpost19, an award-winning book publisher. Roemer's writing has appeared in The Millions, The Writer, OZY, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, and elsewhere. Roemer studied literature and fiction writing at Northwestern.


"This book reads, often, like a dystopian novel, but--disturbingly--it's one set in a dystopia we already live in."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A Russian Doll of confounding contradictions: still but energetic, deadpan but tragic, obscure but utterly engaging. There is really nothing like it."
--David Winner, StateOfRec

"An impressive, engrossing debut from a bold new voice."
--Alia Volz, author of Home Baked: My Mother, Marijuana and the Stoning of San Francisco

"An uncanny approximation of our times... Jon Roemer channels Hitchcock in this noirish stunner."
--Jane Ciabattari, author of Stealing the Fire

"Like the slippery narratives and realities of Kazuo Ishiguro, Jon Roemer's psychological thriller reveals the loneliness of a crowded city in which everybody sees their neighbors all day long and haven't a clue who those neighbors are."
--Brian Bouldrey, author of The Boom Economy and Monster