Distant Rain records a conversation between the eloquent American poet Tess Gallagher and the renowned Japanese novelist and Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi that took place in 1990 at Jakuan, Setouchi's home temple, in Sagano, Japan.
Gallagher had recently experienced the death of her husband, Raymond Carver, an internationally renowned short story writer. In a frank and at times humorous exchange, the two women trade observations about love and loss, and about the role of writing in coping with grief.
Their words, reproduced in both English and Japanese, unfold accordion-style across the rich colors and striking imagery of artist Keiko Hara's wood-block and stencil prints. Complemented by the exquisite lettering of typographer Maki Yamashita and under the guidance of master bookbinder Atsuo Ikuta, Distant Rain is not only a moving tribute to the sustaining power of love but also a stunning example of the art of book design.
TESS GALLAGHER is the author of Instructions to the Double, for which she won the Elliston Award. The popular and prolific novelist JAKUCHO SETOUCHI recently completed a contemporary rendition of The Tale of Genji that has sold millions of copies in Japan. Keiko Hara is a celebrated painter, book artist, and was a professor of art at Whitman College.