Howard Mansfield

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Howard Mansfield (born June 14, 1957) is an American author who writes about history, preservation, and architecture. He was born in Huntington, New York, and graduated from Syracuse University in 1979. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife, writer Sy Montgomery

List of works[edit]


Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter. Bauhan Publishing, 2013

Turn and Jump: How Time and Place Fell Apart. Down East, 2010.

The Bones of the Earth. Shoemaker and Hoard, 2004.

The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throwaway Age. University Press of New England, 2000.

Skylark: The Life, Lies and Inventions of Harry Atwood. University Press of New England, 1999.

In the Memory House. Fulcrum Publishing, 1993.

Cosmopolis: Yesterday’s Cities of the Future. Rutgers, Center for Urban Policy Research, 1990.


Where the Mountain Stands Alone. University Press of New England, 2006.

Contributed Essays[edit]

At the End of Life. Creative Nonfiction Books, 2011.

Beyond the Notches: Stories of Place in New Hampshire’s North Country. Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture, 2011.

Brian Vanden Brink, Ruin: Photographs of a Vanishing America. Down East Books, 2009. Introductory essay.

William Morgan, Yankee Modern: The Houses of Estes/Twombly. Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. Foreword.

James Aponovich: A Retrospective. Currier Museum of Art, 2005.

David Rothenberg and Wendee J. Pryor, eds., Writing on Air. The MIT Press, 2003.

For Children[edit]

Hogwood Steps Out. Barry Moser, illustrator. Roaring Brook Press, 2008

Selected publications[edit]

Essays and articles on history and architecture have appeared in: Doubletake, American Heritage, Orion, New Letters Quarterly, Washington Post, New York Times, Metropolis, International Design, Yankee, Small Press, Places Quarterly, West Hills Review, SITES, Design Book Review, Historic Preservation, Inland Architect, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star, Oakland Tribune, Newsday, Arizona Republic, Chicago Tribune, Des Moines Register, Elle Decor, Air & Space/Smithsonian International Herald Tribune, New Hampshire Home, The Magazine Antiques, Creative Nonfiction.


“As an excavator and guardian of our living past, Howard Mansfield is unmatched. This decent, unpretentious, wonderful writer possesses the sensibility of a poet combined with boundless curiosity and deep, deep knowledge. In its quiet, persistent, honest search for timelessness and truth amidst the clamor of our uncertain times, Turn & Jump takes us to the very soul of America.” –John Heilpern, Vanity Fair

"Now and then an idea suddenly bursts into flame, as if by spontaneous combustion. One instance is the recent explosion of American books about the idea of place.... But the best of them, the deepest, the widest-ranging, the most provocative and eloquent is Howard Mansfield's In the Memory House." -Hungry Mind Review

“Howard Mansfield has never written an uninteresting or dull sentence. All of his books are emotionally and intellectually nourishing. He is something like a cultural psychologist along with being a first-class cultural historian. He is humane, witty, bright-minded, and rigorously intelligent. He and his wife rescued the doomed runt of a litter of pigs and raised it to be the 175-pound Mr. Hogwood, a living symbol of Howard Mansfield’s care for the American, New England, history he writes so well about. His deep subject is Time: how we deal with it and how it deals with us. This beautiful book is about Time and Rocks.” —Guy Davenport, author of The Death of Picasso

“Like Thoreau, Mr. Mansfield is a keen observer and, in his neck of New Hampshire, a granitic critic of the rushed life.” — The Wall Street Journal

Dwelling in Possibility is "a wholly original meditation... Mansfield pursues the essence of dwelling and “the soul of shelter” in a book-length essay that’s part observation of the contemporary built environment, part cultural history, part philosophical account, and at times something like a Whitmanian poetic survey." - Carlo Rotella, The Boston Globe

External links[edit]