In the spring of 2005 I was just a few weeks on the job with the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association when we hosted our spring tradeshow, in Seattle. One of my duties over the course of the three-day show was to host an afternoon event called the Author Reading Room. Among the six authors scheduled to read from new works was Garth Stein, with his fresh novel, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets.
I’d recently finished (and loved) the book in my last days as a bookseller, only the Advance Reading Copy I possessed (and still have) was titled How Evan Broke His Head and Other Stories, which is exactly how I introduced it. My first interaction with Garth Stein was to be corrected by him. The original title implied the book to be a collection and was changed prior to publication. A detail I’d managed to miss.
Title (and my embarrassment) aside, other Northwest readers and booksellers love the book too, and one year later, we went back to Seattle, where PNBA rewarded Stein with his first Pacific Northwest Book Award. This week, Evan turns ten, and Soho Press is celebrating with the release of a special anniversary edition.
Additionally, Soho put together an interview with Stein, conducted by another guy who encountered Garth and Evan before they both broke out. Bryan Devendorf, drummer for the indie royalty band The National, was a Soho editor when Evan came through the pipeline, and the old friends sat down at Seattle’s Hugo House to reminisce and talk about used Volkswagons, hydraulic desks and craft.
—Brian Juenemann, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, NWBL contributing editor
You can purchase copies of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets at Queen Anne Book Company (Queen Anne Books had just moved into the space when they hosted Garth on the original tour 10 years ago!) or at your local independent bookstore. ROCK ON, book lovers.