Interview: Thirty Odd Minutes With Stewart O’Nan

From Knock and Know All:

At fifty-eight years young, Stewart O’Nan has seen seventeen of his works of fiction published along with two non-fiction books, one of which is Faithful [with Stephen King] a best-selling bleachers-eye-view of the first championship season for the Boston Red Sox since Babe Ruth was traded. All of this since he, with the full support of his saintly wife, Trudy, abandoned his career as an Aerospace engineer to earn his MFA, ultimately publishing his first collection of short stories In The Walled City [Drew Heinz Literary Prize] in 1993.



Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: ‘Henry, Himself’: An enduring tribute to an ordinary life

O’Nan…excels at observing nuanced dramas and personalities playing out beneath the skin of something as mundane an extended family at their summer cottage, doing a jigsaw puzzle during a rainstorm. This is a book about how life’s major plotlines roll by beneath the tide of moments and routine, ocean flotsam, surfacing only to sink again.


Henry, Himself Review in Star Tribune; New York Post’s Best Books of the Week

Star Tribune: In this prequel to “Emily, Alone,” Stewart O’Nan creates a vivid world inside the head of a taciturn retired suburban man.

O’Nan trusts that the simplicity of his story, rather than dulling Henry’s character, will instead reveal it. Set against plain domestic backdrops, objects become practically radioactive with symbolic depth. A dusty old centerpiece evokes his mother. A useless roof aerial suggests a lost connection to his children. An ever-collapsing silverware drawer reminds him he’ll always have problems — and a job to do.

New York Post‘s Best Books of the Week

A member of the Greatest Generation, Henry has been a soldier, husband, father, churchgoer and has tried to live his 75 years with honor. Now it’s 1998, the native Pittsburgher is retired, and nothing seems simple anymore. As he moves through his final years, he second-guesses past decisions and wonders if life still holds any surprises.