Confessions of an editor

Review by Nina MacLaughlin in The Boston Phoenix, June 21, 2008

In Safe Suicide, an assemblage of revealing, interrelated essays, DeWitt Henry ” Emerson professor, writer, and founding editor and longtime guiding creative force behind literary magazine Ploughshares offers up to us his world, honest and intimate. The essays concern his family life growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs (sexually charged; alcoholic father looming); his marriage and struggles over his own possible parenthood (questions of sacrifice as well as his readiness, willingness, and even ability to be a father); the birth, adoption, and raising of his two children; the genesis and development of Ploughshares and the literary scene in Boston from the seventies onward; plus, thwarted ambition, marathon training, fatherhood, friendship, and the lifelong challenge of how and where to focus and divide your passions. Taken together, the essays become an extended and elegant meditation on manhood.

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