In October 2012, as the longest summer drought in recorded Oregon history finally gave way to the rainy season, author Matt Love decided to write a book in real time reflecting upon the state’s most famous cultural asset and what it means to live in one the rainiest places on earth. “When this project began, I had no idea where it was going. Rain is like that. I did, however, have the modest ambition to write the greatest book on rain in the history of Oregon literature,” said Love. Three months later, Love produced a unique volume about rain that has very little to do with weather and everything to do with life.
In the book, Love writes:
I want to be the Tom Petty, Henry Miller, Harriet Tubman, Steve Prefontaine, Gale Sayers and Daniel of the lion’s den of Oregon rain. Rain plays chess and solitaire with you at the same time. Rain sets up spontaneous stages for unrehearsed performances. Rain brings mountains down to the sea. All my great notions manifest in rain. Threat of rain culls the weaklings. Rain strops those who walk into it. I have divined many of life’s most important intentions in rain. Using an umbrella is like turning off the light before sex. What would happen to our country if we elected a President from the Oregon Coast who knew rain and loved it? I love the smell of wet dogs in the morning—it smells like victory. I’d rather fall in love with a woman of rain, not the sun or moon, but of course, rain isn’t for everyone as I have discovered. Rain portends nothing. It means everything.
Of Walking in Rain is a 190-page work of creative non-fiction that assays the ubiquitous subject of rain in Oregon in as many ways as rain falls in Oregon. It was written during the four wettest months of the second rainiest year in Newport history. The book blends an eclectic variety of literary genres, including memoir, essay, vignette, diary, reportage, guide, criticism, satire, stream of consciousness, homework, meditation, review, commentary, oral history, weather report, discography, liner notes, polemic, curriculum and confession. Of Walking in Rain also features the exquisite etchings of rain by renowned artist Frank Boyden. The book was printed by Pioneer Printing in Newport and is distributed exclusively through Nestucca Spit Press’ web site, independent bookstores and at live events.