Yes, yes I do.
Yes, yes I do.
Meet Stewart O’Nan, the author of The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy, at the Hartford Circus Fire Remembrance Reception to benefit the library. Limited number of tickets available. Light refreshments will be served.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Hartford History Center
(3rd Floor, Downtown Library)
Public program, 7:00-8:00 PM,
in the Center for Contemporary Culture
Join us for a conversation about the Hartford Circus Fire with author Stewart O’Nan, HPL CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey, and survivor Nancy R. Savin following the reception. This event will be held from 7-8 pm in the Center for Contemporary Culture and is free and open to the public.
The Circus Fire book will be available for sale and signing following the public event.
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[ PDF ]
Full text of the review:
O’Nan’s elegiac companion piece to his 2011 novel, Emily, Alone, follows Emily’s husband of 49 years, Henry Maxwell, who, at 75, suffers from variety of physical ailments. The year is 1998 and readers follow Henry and his family from Valentine’s Day to New Year’s Eve as they celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, observe annual traditions, and spend the summer by the lake. Henry and Emily grapple with their two adult children, Margaret and Kenny, their respective spouses, Jeff and Lisa, and their grandchildren. Nothing especially dramatic happens, except, maybe, when Margaret, who is a recovering alcoholic, gets into an accident right before Thanksgiving and Emily rushes to be with her, leaving Henry to serve the holiday feast to the rest of his family on his own. A member of the “Greatest Generation,” Henry deals with his own growing sense of mortality, but he does it with a rare grace that endears him to the reader. The author evokes Henry’s middle-class Pittsburgh existence like a Keystone State Joyce. One would have to go back to Evan S. Connell’s Mrs. Bridgeand Mr. Bridge to find a literary marriage bookended in such a perceptive fashion. (Apr.)
“Henry Himself” is a character-driven novel, the quiet story of a man from the greatest generation who finally learns at 75 to stop worrying about his past and any mistakes he may have made and to start living for for the moment. I enjoyed this simple novel, felt like I was reading about my dad.
“Henry, Himself” is a beautiful book with a touch of the ineffable about it, and the best novel I have read so far this year.