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Penguin: Viking Spring 2019

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Henry, Himself
A Novel
By (author): Stewart O'Nan
9780735223042 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Apr 09, 2019
$36.00 CAD
Active 6.3 x 9.31 x 1.22 in 384 pages Viking
A member of the greatest generation looks back on the loves and losses of his past and comes to treasure the present anew in this poignant and thoughtful new novel from a modern master

Stewart O’Nan is renowned for illuminating the unexpected grace of everyday life and the resilience of ordinary people with humor, intelligence, and compassion. In Henry, Himself he offers an unsentimental, moving story of a twentieth-century everyman.

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, O’Nan’s beloved portrait of Henry’s wife, Henry, Himself is a wry, warmhearted portrait of an American original—a man who believes he’s reached a dead end only to discover life is full of surprises.

Story Locale: Pittsburgh, PA

A COMPANION TO TWO OF O’NAN’S MOST ESTEEMED AND POPULAR NOVELS: In Henry, Himself O’Nan returns to his beloved Maxwell clan, who were the subjects of his acclaimed novels Wish You Were Here (2002) and Emily, Alone (2011); he is constantly asked by his fans when he is going to write about the Maxwell family again.

UNIQUE POSITION IN THE LITERARY WORLD: O’Nan has become a spokesperson - in modern fiction - for the regular person, the working person, and the elderly, all of whom he writes about with great authenticity.

CRITICAL PRAISE: O’Nan is an exceptional stylist whose novels consistently command widespread and enthusiastic review coverage.

BELOVED BY BOOKSELLERS: Over the years O’Nan has formed many tight connections with booksellers, who love his work and passionately handsell it.

Stewart O’Nan is the author of sixteen previous novels, including 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. He was born, raised, and lives in Pittsburgh.

Author Residence: Pittsburgh, PA

Marketing: Social media and online promotion

Library promotions / Facebook / Twitter

Publicity: Print and online reviews and features

National radio interviews

Author Website:

Author Social Media:; Twitter: @StewartONan

Praise for Emily, Alone:

“O’Nan’s best novel yet…It’s heartbreaking stuff - I will confess I found myself sobbing at certain, often unexpected points…and yet the novel’s brilliance lies just as much with O’Nan’s innate comic timing.” - The New York Times Book Review

“Emily is as authentic a character as any who ever walked the pages of a novel…filled with joy and rue…an ordinary life made, by its quiet rendering, extraordinary.” - The Boston Globe

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