08-15-2009 10:11 AM
We're very pleased to welcome Garth Stein to Center Stage as his wonderful, bestselling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain is released in paperback.
Garth Stein is the author of the New York Times bestselling literary novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain (Harper, 2008). Now published in 23 languages, The Art of Racing in the Rain was the #1 BookSense selection for June, 2008, the Starbucks spring/summer 2008 book selection, and has been on the IndieBoundTM bestseller list since its publication.
Stein's previous novel, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (Soho Press, 2005) won a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and was a BookSense Pick in both hardcover and paperback. Raven Stole the Moon (Pocket, 1998) was Stein's first novel. He has also written a full-length play, Brother Jones, and produced a number of award-winning documentaries.
With an M.F.A. in film from Columbia University (1990), Garth worked as a documentary film maker for several years, and directed, produced, or co-produced several award winning films.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Seattle, Garth's ancestry is diverse: his mother, a native of Alaska, is of Tlingit Indian and Irish descent; his father, a Brooklyn native, is the child of Jewish emigrants from Austria. After spending his childhood in Seattle and then living in New York City for 18 years, Garth returned to Seattle, where he currently lives with his wife, three sons, and their dog, Comet.
08-27-2009 09:15 PM
I would love to participate in the Garth Stein forum Sept. 14-18th. Thanks very much for the invitation. Please let me know how this forum works in a future e-mail.
09-11-2009 02:35 PM
I loved this book and can't wait to chat with Mr. Stein! Thank you for joining us for the week.
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
09-14-2009 08:00 AM
Good morning, everyone! Here are some fun answers to our usual questions from Garth Stein to kick off this week's Center Stage discussion with him:
Center Stage: Tell us about how your new novel fits in with OR stands out from your body of work/previous work.
Garth Stein: My books are about overcoming obstacles, about rewriting one's own story, about taking responsibility for one's own actions, about delving into one's past in order to see how best to move on to the future. There also tends to be a hint of otherworldliness or spiritualism in my writing-not so much in "Evan," but in the others. In that sense, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is very much like "How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets" and "Raven Stole the Moon," and these ideas will be touched on in the next book I'm writing, as well.
CS: What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever asked you?
GS: A fan once asked me to include my favorite food on the title page I was signing. He said he wanted "some personality." So I wrote "I love dim sum." (I do love dim sum, among many other kinds of food.) He looked at me like I was crazy. He said: "Nobody loves dim sum!" I guess he wanted my personality as long as it was like his personality!
CS: What's the one thing no one has ever asked you that you are dying to make known?
GS: When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be the saxophone player, Paul Desmond. I played the sax and did pretty well with it, but I didn't have that extra talent it takes to be a true musician. I'm thrilled that my eldest son has that talent with the electric guitar, and I have no doubt he will grow up to be Jimmy Page, as he hopes....
CS: Whose books would you like to have written if not your own?
GS: Ernest Hemingway. But if I could have written someone else's plays, it would have to be Tennessee Williams.
CS: If you weren't a writer, you'd be?
GS: I would be a chef. My son and I have a dream of opening a restaurant called "Jam on Eggs" (after his favorite dish), which will be a breakfast-all-day place that features live music at night.
09-14-2009 01:30 PM
I am here!
I'd like to thank you all in advance for partipating in the discussion this week. I'll be happy to answer questions or just babble on a bit about writing and books and stuff. Let's get to it!
09-14-2009 01:32 PM
I absolutely adored, The Art of Racing in the Rain! What are you working on now?
I'm working on a new book right now. I can't tell you too much about it because it's a surprise. To me! No, seriously, when I'm working on something, it's hard for me to talk about it because I'm focusing on one moment and I tend to miss the big picture.
I will tell you it's a NW epic, set in a 110 year old log mansion on a bluff over Puget Sound....with ghosts!
09-14-2009 02:59 PM
Hi Garth, I just create an account to chat with you ^^
I'm a French fan.
I really really love "The Art of Racing In the Rain" and I wait to the movie.
What is your work's method ? Just yourself with a pen, or computer ?
09-14-2009 03:01 PM
That Monday Chubby was ready.. Our conversation that evening went on for some time talking about dogs, friends, cars, love and I explain what happen that day, Starbucks, the book, the story and her call. that experience will live with us forever and your book has brought us and many others that I have given your book to comfort and well being.
My best and thank you.
09-14-2009 03:41 PM
On the holiday weekend of July 6, 2008, I left the house to make my pilgrimage to my local Starbucks drive threw and decided for the first time I would go inside have my coffee, read the newspaper relax....wow, it was packed and great to see the barrister's who were surprised how tall I was...got my tall coffee, two honeys and found the only sofa seat left....lucky I guess..good light, table and cute lady in her workout clothes..this is going to be a good day I think...paper down, coffee on the end table and a book.."The Art of Racing in the Rain" oh with a dogs pic? Im a racer, love dogs have two shiba Inu's so I read the back...Im hooked...heck with the papers. Three hours later coffee cold and thinking I may have to pay rent if I stay any longer Im wonder what's the deal with the book, did someone leave it, should I take it or ask at the counter. I ask being a good Catholic boy..Cashier says that the last one of that book which has been very popular..Ill take it. Got home, wondered what happened to that cute lady and finished the book...For the first time in two years I felt comfort after having lost my first Shiba of four years on Christmas Day. I had a funny feeling that day...I hardly ever read books except when on vacation since I have to read so much for work...I almost seem like I was destined to read that book that day...
Later that evening feeling balanced, comforted and renewed after my walk with the dogs I recieved a call from an old girlfriend; who works for a automotive magizine publishing co., that I had not spoken with in three years...she loved dogs as well and had a mixed breed named Chubby...she and I had a bond and unique love for Chubby. I could tell in her voice she was upset..she told me the next morning the Chubby was going to take her last adventure and that she had prepared a place for her under the large oak overlooking the lake where the swanns come in spring to lay there eggs. She was sad...I told her of my day..the book, its story and we cried. Who could these events all happen on this day..we both were breathless...and thankful for your book and Enzo. Chubby was ready on Monday and is now waiting for her return and may well be with us now. As I said on an earlier blog to you..I tell this story better than I write it but want to share it with you personally.. Thank you and best wishes...Ken Detzner
09-14-2009 03:48 PM
Sending a shout out from your fans in Cape May, NJ. I have some questions. First, when will your latest book be out? With Drella insisting on 40 pages a week you should be moving along quickly. LOL. I'd also like to know if you are going to write the screenplay for ARR. Since movies were your first artistic endeavor, I think you would do a great job by maintaining the "feel" of the book and focusing on the messages you'd like viewers to walk away with. So often I love a book and the movie version is dreadful. I don't want to see that happen with your work.
Sorry it's raining in FL. We're having a beautiful, balmy early fall day here at the beach. One of those perfect gems you wish would last forever.
Hope you and the family are well. I read your schedule and am exhausted myself. Enjoy the moments in the sun.
09-14-2009 04:01 PM
Garth I let my friend know I shared our book story with you today..she manages all the car shows in the US and Europe and may be interested in having you appear and do a book signing...Let me know via email and I will forward her direct contact info...Next time Im in Seattle dinner at McCormicks is on me...are they still open?
09-14-2009 06:45 PM
Hey Garth! Finally got here...you mention in the introduction to Center Stage that you see a connection between "Evan" and ARR in that there is a theme of spirituality in both. We can seem it clearly in the Zen like quality of Enzo's philosophy and the "mindlessness" of the racer in the" tunnel", however I don't see that as clearly in Evan.
Is it Evan's music that equates to the "race" in ARR that you see the spirituality?
"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who