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AUTHOR VIDEOS: Hemenway Stevens


My name is Hemenway Stevens and my book is Nathan. I have worked in theatre for about thirty years. I studied theatre and I have been playwright, actor, director, and stage manager. I teach at universities as well. Nathan is the story of a private and emotionally guarded gentleman named Morgan whose life has changed forever, whose heart is opened up when he buys a toy elephant named Nathan at a flea market in New York City, who was made in 1950 and has been stored in a Connecticut attic for over thirty years. So as you might expect, he has an exuberant enthusiasm now for his miraculous rebirth and pulls Morgan into one adventure after another. Then it becomes, really, the story about a man determined to live a private and well ordered life and how his life expands because this elephant keeps pulling him into areas that he just never thought he really would have to deal with emotionally—literally, in terms of love—and also in terms of his reputation as a theatre director is pretty much put on the line. Really what Nathan is doing, I think, is challenging Morgan’s careful lifestyle. He gets him involved into going to parties that he normally steers clear of and ultimately gets him put on a board of a fledgling young New York theatre company. I think I know firsthand the kind of hope and heartbreak of those people in the theatre that never will probably become famous and will never really make a lot of money and will always have to do this purely out of love while they continue their lives as waitresses and waiters and data processors or whatever. It’s that celebration of those people that just don’t give up. I want to be Nathan. I want to be that someone who, even after 30 years of being put away in an attic, still has tremendous hope and tremendous respect for the miracle of contemporary life.

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