Renowned for illuminating the unexpected grace of everyday life and the resilience of ordinary people with humor, intelligence, and compassion, acclaimed and prolific author Stewart O’Nan brings us his seventeenth novel, Henry, Himself, an unsentimental, moving life story of a twentieth-century everyman in this prequel to the beloved Emily, Alone. O'Nan will be in conversation with Nancy Gilson, former Arts Editor for The Columbus Dispatch and a frequent freelancer for the paper.
Soldier, son, lover, husband, breadwinner, churchgoer, Henry Maxwell has spent his whole life trying to live with honor. A native Pittsburgher and engineer, he's always believed in logic, sacrifice, and hard work. Now, seventy-five and retired, he feels the world has passed him by. It's 1998, the American century is ending, and nothing is simple anymore. His children are distant, their unhappiness a mystery. Only his wife Emily and dog Rufus stand by him. Once so confident, as Henry's strength and memory desert him, he weighs his dreams against his regrets and is left with questions he can't answer: Is he a good man? Has he done right by the people he loves? And with time running out, what, realistically, can he hope for? Like Emily, Alone, Henry, Himself is a wry, warmhearted portrait of an American original who believes he's reached a dead end only to discover life is full of surprises.
Stewart O'Nan’s previous novels include City of Secrets; West of Sunset; The Odds; Emily, Alone; Songs for the Missing; Wish You Were Here; A Prayer for the Dying; and Snow Angels. His novel Last Night at the Lobster was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. O’Nan was born, raised, and lives in Pittsburgh.
Kenyon Review and The Columbus Dispatch are Gramercy’s Community Partners for this exclusive evening. Mr. O’Nan will tape a podcast for both publications and he travels to Kenyon College on Wednesday, April 17th for an appearance with students and faculty there.