Stein, Garth 1965(?)–
Stein, Garth 1965(?)–
ADDRESSES: Home—Seattle, WA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Soho Press Inc., 853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003.
CAREER: Worked variously as filmmaker, producer, and stage manager. Theatre Guild, New York, NY, assistant to Philip Lagner and stage manager for "Theatre at Sea" cruises. Film work includes: (director) What's Wrong with This Building?; (producer) The Lunch Date; (coproducer) When Your Head's Not a Head, It's a Nut; (coproducer) The Last Party coproducer; and (director) Philadelphia Burning.
AWARDS, HONORS: Academy Award for Live-Action Short, 1991, for The Lunch Date.
Raven Stole the Moon (novel), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1998.
How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (novel), Soho Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Brother Jones (play), produced in Los Angeles, CA, 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Raven Steals the Sun, a sequel to Raven Stole the Moon.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and filmmaker Garth Stein was raised in Seattle, Washington, prior to moving to New York City, where he earned both his B.A. and his M.F.A. at Columbia University. His diverse ethnic background—his mother is part Irish and part Tlingit Indian, and his father is an Austrian Jew—and his ties to his family help to shape his outlook on society and have influenced some of his films and writing projects. Stein worked at various jobs after graduating from school, including as a director on the documentary film, What's Wrong with This Building?, which chronicles the controversy over whether to add a new wing to the Whitney Museum of Art, and as a producer on The Lunch Date, a short film that went on to win a 1991 Academy Award for best live-action short. Other projects include When Your Head's Not a Head, It's a Nut, a film about his sister's brain surgery to help her epilepsy, coproducing The Last Party, and directing Philadelphia Burning, and a number of music videos. Stein also served as an assistant to Philip Lagner, the head of Broadway's Theatre Guild, for four years.
Raven Stole the Moon, Stein's first novel, is heavily steeped in the stories of his Tlingit ancestors. Stein wanted to incorporate the tale of the kushtaka, shape-shifters that can steal human souls, and who exist between the worlds of the living and the dead. The book tells the story of Jenna Rosen, a young woman who, mourning the death of her small son two years before, leaves her husband behind in Seattle and goes to Wrangell, Alaska, to visit her Tlingit grandmother. Wrangell is located near Thunder Bay, where her son drowned, and though her purpose is to lay the past to rest, Jenna finds herself involved in something much less comforting as she comes to believe that her son's spirit has been taken by the kushtaka. V. Louise Saylor, in a review for Library Journal, called the book "richly textured" and "layered with vivid descriptions and characters." A contributor for Publishers Weekly observed that "Stein's restrained prose is a good vehicle for Jenna's examination of the nature of religious faith and belief."
How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets is the story of Evan, a thirty-one-year-old musician with epilepsy who suddenly finds himself responsible for a son he is never met—now aged fourteen—when the boy's mother dies. The relationship is complicated by the fact that Evan's own maturity level is hardly higher than his son's. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews found it "an unconvincing second outing," while a reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that the book "is littered with life lessons that Stein weaves into the narrative with honesty and compassion."
Stein is also the author of a play, Brother Jones, about a boat builder named Jones Riddell who returns home after twenty-four years to attend his sister's wedding. The work debuted in Los Angeles, California, in January of 2005.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 28, 1998, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of Raven Stole the Moon, p. 901; March 15, 2005, Joanne Wilkinson, review of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, p. 1267.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2005, review of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, p. 195.
Library Journal, January, 1998, V. Louise Saylor, review of Raven Stole the Moon, p. 145.
Publishers Weekly, December 8, 1997, review of Raven Stole the Moon, p. 53; March 28, 2005, review of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, p. 57.
Garth Stein Home Page, http://www.garthstein.com (July 10, 2005).
Plays 411, http://www.plays411.com/ (July 10, 2005), "Garth Stein."
Raven Moon Web site, http://www.ravenmoon.com/ (July 10, 2005).
Writers Write Web site, http://www.writerswrite.com/ (July 10, 2005), "Garth Stein."