Readers throughout the Newport area will be cracking open copies of “The Art of Racing in the Rain” this winter as the community gears up for its 12th annual Newport Reads! event.
Hosted by the Newport Library Foundation, the program aims to deepen the community’s engagement with literature through reading and discussion. Many of the past Newport Reads! selections have been written by excellent Northwest authors, and this year’s, by Seattle author Garth Stein, is no exception.
Winner of the 2009 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is told from the point of view of Enzo, a race car-obsessed dog who believes he will be reincarnated as a human. The day before his death, Enzo looks back over the people and events that shaped his life, on his race car-driving owner Denny, the death of Denny’s wife, and the ensuing custody battle between Denny and his in-laws over daughter Zoë.
Stein moved from New York City to Seattle in 2001 and became involved in high-performance driver education, receiving his racing license with the Sports Car Club of America, and winning the points championship in the Northwest Region Spec Miata class in 2004. He left racing after a serious crash — while racing in the rain.
Stein’s other novels include “Raven Stole the Moon” and “How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets.” His most recent novel, “A Sudden Light,” was published in 2014.
Stein will appear at the Newport Performing Arts Center at 7 pm on Wednesday, April 19, to talk about his work and take questions from the audience. In keeping with the human-animal connection central to the book, guests are encouraged to bring pet food for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. After the program, Stein will be autographing copies of his books, which will be available for purchase.
Multiple copies of “The Art of Racing in the Rain” are available in various formats (including large print, audio and digital) from the Newport Public Library. The library will also be giving away five copies via its Facebook page.