J Malcolm Garcia with Katherine Seligman / Out of the Rain

The Booksmith

1727 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

From $0.00

Wed, July 17th, 2024 @ 7:00PM PDT


Booksmith is thrilled to be welcoming J Malcolm Garcia to the shop with Katherine Seligman for Out of the Rain - join us!

About the book

Out of the Rain is a debut novel based on J. Malcom Garcia's experience as a social services worker in San Francisco in the 1980s and 1990s. Narrated from various perspectives, the reader is enmeshed in the harsh reality faced by those on the fringes of society. Tom runs a social services agency. He doesn’t play by the rules so much as try to bring some humanity to his work. Walter is a homeless man who struggles with addiction but is ready to help others. Katie, a recovering alcoholic working at a detox program, worries about her future now that she has lost her sponsor. In Out of the Rain, the reader meets social services workers who themselves are only one step away from homelessness, and the clients they are trying to help. We come to know their shared battle of finding open shelter beds, navigating federal programs, battling sobriety and addiction, all in pursuit of the shared goal of a better life. With clarity and compassion, J. Malcolm Garcia chronicles the lives of combat veterans, addicts, unemployed and underemployed people, all of whom know the real stakes of housing insecurity, substance abuse, and the negligence of the state.

About the authors

J. Malcolm Garcia worked with homeless people in San Francisco for fourteen years before he made the jump into journalism in 1997. The tragedy of September 11th, 2001, gave him the opportunity to work in Afghanistan. Since then he has written on Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Chad, Haiti, Honduras, Egypt and Argentina among other countries. Garcia is the author of The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul (Beacon 2009); What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and Forgotten (University of Missouri Press 2014); Without A Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans (Skyhorse Press 2017); and Riding through Katrina with the Red Baron's Ghost: A Memoir of Friendship, Family and a Life Writing Stories (Skyhorse Press 2018), as well as two previous books from Seven Stories Press, The Fruit of All My Grief: Lives in the Shadows of the American Dream(2018) and Most Dangerous, Most Unmerciful: Stories from Afghanistan (2022). Garcia is a recipient of the Studs Terkel Prize for writing about the working classes and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism. His work has been anthologized in Best American Travel WritingBest American Nonrequired Reading, and Best American Essays. He lives in San Diego.

Katherine Seligman is an award-winning journalist and author in San Francisco. She has been a reporter at USA Today, the San Francisco Examiner and a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Magazine. Her work has been featured on NPR, and in Life, Redbook, The Sun Magazine, the anthology “Fresh Takes,” Best American Essays, and elsewhere. Her debut novel, At the Edge of the Haight (published by Algonquin Books in 2021), won the PEN / Bellwether Prize.

About the bookstore

The Booksmith is an independent bookstore located in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco since 1976.

Please note:

  • Masks are not required, but can be provided upon request.
  • Check-in begins at 6:45. Unclaimed seats are given up beginning at 7:10.
  • There will be a 30 minute post-show signing as time allows. Books will be for sale on the night of the event, but you can also purchase additional copies straight from our website.
  • Questions? Accessibility requests? Write to us at [email protected].


Refund Policy:

No refunds or returns.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of cancellation, you will be refunded the price of your ticket within 4 business days.

The Booksmith
1727 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117