Howard Mansfield returns with Summer Over Autumn


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.” 

Mansfield doesn’t waste time with the “quaint postcard” view of a New England town, but shows readers where the real merit of small-town life lies. It can be found in the war waged against rosebushes, the hopeful placing of bets in the elm lottery, the artful dance of fundraising, and in bribing the band to play longer at the mechanic’s anniversary party.  Like Hancock’s crooked Main Street, the town and these stories are not just there for reminiscing, they are a “breathing lesson.”
Summer over Autumn may not make the mini season roster like Mud and Black Fly Season, but it will certainly be remembered by all who read this book.

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. 


Event date: 

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Water Street Bookstore
125 Water Street
Exeter, NH 03833
Summer Over Autumn: A Small Book of Small-Town Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872332508
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bauhan Pub - September 5th, 2017