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The River Lock: One Boy’s Life Along the Mohawk
Syracuse University Press, 2008
After a fourteen-year absence from his home in Amsterdam, New York, Haven returns to the streets that molded his character. Through memories of his adolescence, Haven relives his youth in this economically deprived community and explores the values of friendship, loyalty, and privilege. A true bildungsroman, The River Lock traces the forging of Haven’s identity from the clash of the two worlds of his youth-home and street. His return to his childhood past allows Haven to understand and describe how his growing understanding of art, culture, spirituality, and class melded to create a man able to live fully in two distinct worlds, the foundation of the man he is today.
Thomas Larson
Summer 2009
You’re not likely to read a memoir as good as Stephen Haven’s. Its brilliance lies in his fearless blend of the past in the present. In his mid-forties, the author is haunted by a wounded adolescence. On a pilgrimage, he returns to his hometown to discover why he's so obsessed. There, the still-ripe memoires of twenty and more years past unleash a torrent of wonder and regret...
Read More at thomaslarson.com
Jessica Harding
May 1, 2008
In many ways, Haven led a different life from that of his father. He said he was always trying to balance his father’s idealistic teachings with his own social life, playing Little Giants football and Koller 49ers basketball.“There was a difference between my home and church life and the rough and tumble life of an Amsterdam teenager. I was always trying to balance those two worlds,” Haven said...
Read More at dailygazette.com
Stephen Haven
Poet, professor, memoirist, translator, and editor.