Get Lit! 2016: EWU Hosts Week-long Literary Festival
Garth Stein came to the Fox Theater as part of Get Lit! 2016. EWU’s annual one-week literary festival. The author of New York Times bestselling novel “The Art of Racing in the Rain” talked about growing up in Seattle in the ‘80’s, going to college in NYC, making documentary films, writing plays, racing cars, and finally becoming a wildly successful novelist.
Stein explained the challenge of putting pen to paper, taking this weird idea and actually writing the thing that became the first draft that became the novel that has now spawned other siblings such as a young adult version, and a children’s book. While on book tour for his first novel, his wife made him write forty pages of the dog book before she would let him back in the house. He credits her as an essential part of his career as a novelist. The two met while studying film at Columbia University.
And Stein spoke passionately about the need for discourse on literature in American culture, and implored us to support our public library, check out books, give books away, something he does with the philanthropy group “Seattle 7 Writers.” And, he says, keep going to readings and events like Get Lit!
He fielded questions about Comet, the beloved Labra-poodle his family adopted from a farm near Spangle, a town 15 miles south of EWU. The idea for his “Dog Book” (what he calls it) occurred to him when he learned about the Buddhist belief that dogs are are reborn next as humans (versus some other creature).
His newest book, A Sudden Light, deals with family history and legacy. It spans multiple generations of a once-prominent Pacific Northwest lumber family, and features a house that may or may not be alive.