Clearly Now, the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Other Trips

Overview


A memoir about loving someone you cannot save Serala drank frat boys under the table. She wore saris and ate delicately from plates of curry at family events; elsewhere she wore a lip ring, designer shades, and a cowboy hat and ordered bloody steaks. She wrote volumes of poetry, made amateur films, singlehandedly ran a chapter of Food Not Bombs, and ended up as a fierce advertising agency executive. She often slept less than five hours per week and would, at the slightest excuse, drive from L.A. to New York in a...
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Clearly Now, the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Other Trips

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Overview


A memoir about loving someone you cannot save Serala drank frat boys under the table. She wore saris and ate delicately from plates of curry at family events; elsewhere she wore a lip ring, designer shades, and a cowboy hat and ordered bloody steaks. She wrote volumes of poetry, made amateur films, singlehandedly ran a chapter of Food Not Bombs, and ended up as a fierce advertising agency executive. She often slept less than five hours per week and would, at the slightest excuse, drive from L.A. to New York in a cool 50 hours. In some moments of danger, she split the lips of menacing strangers. And she gave herself over to the casual knives and fists of others for nothing more than another bag of heroin that she had plenty of money for anyway. Clearly Now, the Rain traces the decade-long relationship of Eli Hastings and his friend Serala: from ill-advised quests for narcotics in Mexican border towns through summer road trips, from southern California to Tennessee and on to New York City and Seattle, from 1996 to the very last days of 2004, when Serala’s journey concluded tragically at age 27.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In electric, adventurous prose, Eli Hastings' Clearly Now, the Rain tells the story of loving one wrecked soul, and the rich, dark wonder of the joys to be found along the way."  —Paul Lisicky, author, Famous Builder and Lawnboy

"Eli Hastings will make you fall in love—and then he will punch through your ribcage and rip your heart out—and by the end of his moving memoir, Clearly Now, the Rain, you will thank him for it."  —Benjamin Percy, author, Refresh, Refresh and The Wilding

"[Serala's] story is as biting and claustrophobic as Nicolas Cage's in Leaving Las Vegas, but it is drawn with great affection. Hastings became both her friend and her lover, and he is brutally honest in his assessments of her flaws and of their relationship. . . . As elemental, lyrical and cringe-inducing a love story as they come." —Kirkus Reviews (March 2013)

“Some relationships make us question whether we’ve loved enough, others whether we’ve loved too much. But Seattle author Eli Hastings grapples with an even more perplexing issue in his latest book: Did he love the right way? His new memoir, ‘Clearly Now, the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Other Trips,’ is a drug, romance and adventure-filled exploration of that gut-wrenching question, a story that is both thoroughly of its time (post-grunge Seattle) and timeless in theme.”—Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times

"Hastings writes a graceful, unbiased portrait of someone whose self-destructive fate cannot be altered, and he does so with incredible power and sensitivity. Clearly Now, the Rain is a hypnotic, surreal, and lyrical testament to the capacities of friendship and the outer limits of love. By the time you reach the book’s end, the enigmatic Serala will be impossible to shake from your consciousness."— Margaux Fragoso, author of Tiger, Tiger

"Clearly Now, the Rain is an unflinching account of how it feels to be young and flirting with the abyss in America. The narrator’s observations as he and his friends ride rough across the U.S.A., all pulled to orbit around their friend, lover, and lost soul, Serala, are also an investigation into the dangerously different ways that people respond to addiction. This is an elegy, yes, as if told by a boy who began his quest tutored by Kerouac’s ghost, but became, on this hard road, a man schooled in love by the spirit of the Dalai Lama."— Rachel Rose, author of Giving My Body to Science

Kirkus Reviews
A candid, bracing memoir of love, addiction and self-destruction. When readers first meet Hastings (Falling Room, 2006), in the middle of the 1990s, he comes across with a bit of posture: a hepcat, we are to understand, like Richard Fariña's Gnossos Pappadopoulis. But forgive him; he was fresh out of high school and about to be flayed by love and death. At college that autumn, he met Serala, a woman from the south of India, a rose with a full complement of thorns, a smoky romanticism and a whispery deepness that speaks of experiencing too much too soon in life. Hastings doles out her character as if skating backward, looking over his shoulder for the next patch of thin ice. There will be many, for Serala nursed and then fully blossomed into addiction and was seduced by suicide, which lurked even after her failed second attempt, when she realized that "we don't get any stronger, we just become better liars." Her story is as biting and claustrophobic as Nicolas Cage's in Leaving Las Vegas, but it is drawn with great affection. Hastings became both her friend and her lover, and he is brutally honest in his assessments of her flaws and of their relationship. He also relates the many other travails he experienced during these years, including the many adventures abroad and on road trips at home, as well as a slew of other fraught relationships--familial and romantic--as Serala moved, now like a shadow and now a devouring presence, in and out of his life. "She enabled years of pleasant fog for me, some of which I regret," he writes. As elemental, lyrical and cringe-inducing a love story as they come.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770410770
  • Publisher: ECW Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,384,193
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Eli Hastings is a writer and a family therapy intern. He is the author of "Falling Room." He lives in Seattle.
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