A bountiful harvest of thoughts on life’s journey

Review by Chuck Leddy in The Boston Globe, April 21, 2008

A bountiful harvest of thoughts on life's journey

By Chuck Leddy

April 21, 2008

Safe Suicide: Narratives,

Essays, and Meditations

By DeWitt Henry

Red Hen Press, 200 pp., $23

more stories like thisIn this interconnected collection of autobiographical essays, we're brought into the fascinating life of a Boston-area novelist and editor struggling to build a viable writing career, sustain an important literary journal, and become a loving husband, father, and friend. Since these struggles are all accompanied by drama and pain (but also unexpected pleasures), DeWitt Henry's vivid collection reads like an absorbing coming-of-age memoir.

Henry is the founding editor of "Ploughshares," a Boston-based literary journal that has published literary luminaries such as Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, and Richard Yates. For Henry, "Ploughshares" was a labor of love (meaning, it almost ruined him financially). Henry describes the seat-of-the-pants nature of those early days putting out the journal: "Connie and I would stuff copies into mailing bags, staple the bags, hand address, and put stamps on perhaps 1,000 copies to subscribers . . . Our couch, dining table, chairs, every available surface would be covered with stacks of copies."

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