Out of the Rain

Out of the Rain

By: J. Malcolm Garcia

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A debut novel from the award-winning journalist about the people in a San Francisco homeless shelter, and those who try to help—or prey on them.

“Ever since I first read Mr. Garcia's journalism I have admired his bravery and accuracy. This work reminds me of György Konrád‘s great novella The Case Worker.” —William T. Vollmann

"[T]here’s a writer named J. Malcolm Garcia who continually astounds me with his energy and empathy. I’ve been following him wherever he goes." Dave Eggers

Out of the Rain takes us into the growing world of the homeless in the United States, particularly in San Francisco. Here we read their powerful stories, which examine not just poverty but bottom-of-the-barrel destitution, and in many cases self-destruction.

Tom, who runs a social services agency, doesn’t play by a book of rules as much as try to bring some humanity to his work. Then there is Walter, a homeless man who can’t save himself from booze but is ready to help others. Throughout this novel told from various perspectives, the reader is introduced in intimate detail to the lives of social services workers trying to find open shelter beds and simultaneously navigating federal programs. Homeless men and women are battling sobriety and addiction and simply trying to find sustainable work and decent housing.

Based on the author’s experience working with homeless people in San Francisco as a social services worker in the 1980s and 1990s, this novel vividly takes the reader into the heads of combat veterans, junkies, prostitutes and the unemployed. J. Malcolm Garcia left social services to pursue journalism so he could write about the people he worked with and share their stories—and humanity—with the broader public.

“There weren’t enough shelter beds, weren’t enough detoxes, weren’t enough jobs, weren’t enough anything for the people I wanted to help.” —Tom, social worker, in Out of the Rain

Details & specs

Publisher name:
Seven Stories Press

Publication date:

Paperback / softback | Trade paperback (US)

Penguin Random House

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