Howard Mansfield may have once been a “city mouse,” but he sees New Hampshire and his town Hancock with the insights of 30 years of careful observation. For those who are already familiar with Mansfield’s writing, this is just his way: to entice out the hidden stories in a chair, a cabin, or a display of fireworks. He is an everyday tourist and detective of the nearby. Mansfield’s ability to fully immerse himself in the here rather than rushing on towards there, has helped him create the wonderful essays in this small book full of huge ideas.
Summer Over Autumn: A Small Book of Small-Town Life (September 2017) is named for what Mansfield calls the moment in late summer when the season is still going strong but you get that first glimpse at autumn. This collection is made up of twenty-one essays and moments just like this. They are about neighbors, animals, tractors, trees, yard sales, funerals, money, and fidelity to time itself, but they also contain much more. Mansfield says, “We get from stories what we bring to them, and in small towns we may bring entire lives to the reading, and sometimes a simple story runs deep.”
Praise for Summer over Autumn:
“Whenever Howard Mansfield writes about the world around him, whether it be small-town New England, or what compels us to preserve the artifacts of our lives, or the mystery of Time, I pay attention. When I finish a Howard Mansfield story or book I look upon a world changed. His curiosity propels every sentence he writes, no more so than in Summer Over Autumn.”
—Mel Allen, editor, Yankee Magazine
Howard Mansfield is the author of eight books about preservation, architecture, and history including In The Memory House and Dwelling in Possibility, and has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Historic Preservation, and Yankee. Howard and his wife, writer Sy Montgomery, live in Hancock, New Hampshire.