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WHERE WE LIVED: Essays on Places

by Pulitzer Prize Winner HENRY ALLEN

"Where We Lived is a jewel of memories and words that moves - and sticks" Jim Lehrer

In a singular voice that won Henry Allen journalism awards at The Washington Post and a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Where We Lived brings alive nearly five centuries of the Allen and DeWolf family by vividly describing places where they lived amidst Indian wars, a witchcraft trial, privateering, wagon trains, a split over slave trading, the friendship of presidents, the dwindling of the old Anglo-Saxon hegemony, let alone the heartless mysteries of money, alcohol, and gentility —from plantations in South Carolina and Guadeloupe to a boardinghouse in Queens, a sadly grand old house in Orange, New Jersey, farmhouses, mansions, apartments, ships, tents and dormitories, towns in Rhode Island and Connecticut. In addition to photographs, the book features artwork by the author.

"I am compelled to call Where We Lived the most American book I have ever read" Stephen Hunter


Jim Lehrer, novelist and longtime anchor for PBS News Hour

“Henry Allen is a man who knows who he is and how and where he got there. His telling of his story rings and reads real. It is so good that if you have the time or inclination to read only one book this day—week, month, year, decade—do yourself a favor and make it this one.”

Stephen Hunter, best-selling novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism

"Henry Allen evokes the past with an engineer's precision, a poet's vividness and a journalist's probity, deftly avoiding the rat traps of sentimentality and nostalgia. The result is an anthem of small truths, a wholly original piece of prose amounting to a big one about family and history. I am compelled to call Where We Lived the most American book I have ever read."

Ann Beattie, author of The Accomplished Guest: Stories and The State We’re In: Maine Stories

“These essays are seemingly casually written, so understated, assured and wry, that everything

Henry Allen mentioned came back as vividly as the dream our childhood always is. I grew up around the same time, in the same area, but it took these essays to make me realize how amazing that world was, its immediacy paradoxically rooted in history, its small pleasures enormous. I loved the book.

James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor and recipient of France's Grand Prix du Roman Noir

"Henry Allen is the truest chronicler of our American dream. By taking us into the homes of his history, he reveals our own lives in shafts of sunlit prose streaming through the windows of time and place. All of Allen's arts of journalism, poetry, fiction, and painting smoothly blend into this intimate prose portrait of American life. You'll remember this book even as it helps you understand the memories of your life. Henry Allen is a treasure of American literature."


Henry Allen

Henry Allen. Intense. Mercurial, Bearded. Marine veteran of Vietnam. Feature writer and art critic at The Washington Post, 1970-2009. The author of Going Too Far Enough: American Culture at Century’s End (Smithsonian Institution Press), What It Felt Like: Living in the American Century (Pantheon), Fool’s Mercy: a novel (Houghton-Mifflin), and The Museum of Light Air: poetry (Dryad Press). Henry Allen was awarded first prize for Commentary by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Pulitzer Prize “for his illuminating criticism of photography and painting” at The Washington Post. For Henry Allen’s art, visit http://henryallenstudio.blogspot.com/ and for a June 2017 interview: www.highbrowmagazine.com/1252-conversation-henry-allen-pulitzer-prize-winner-artist-renaissance-man

MVP (www.mvpress.org) is the nonprofit publishing arm of Americas for Conservation and the Arts (http://americasforconservation.org/). MVP is dedicated to connecting the literature of the Americas by uniting the works of the best writers of Latin and Latino America with the leading ethnic and minority writers of North America. Founded in 2015, MVP brings together the talents of two experienced editors, Robert Mandel and Irene Vilar, whose collaboration resulted in the publication of important books and translations on Latin American, Latino, Jewish, and African American literature, art, politics, and culture.

Dryad Press (www.dryadpress.com) began as a publisher of poetry in 1975, bringing out finely-designed books by new and established poets, among them Linda Pastan, John Logan, Reed Whittemore, and James Wright. The Press began expanding its list and for more than twenty years has been publishing fiction and non-fiction, including books of Jewish literary interest.

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Robert Mandel, Publisher

Mandel Vilar Press

19 Oxford Court,

Simsbury, Connecticut 06070

robert@mandelvilar.org; 806-790- 4731

Merrill Leffler, Publisher

Dryad Press

15 Sherman Avenue

Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

dryadpress@yahoo.com; 240-893-3526