"Alley’s luminous stories explore a wealth of characters."Kirkus Review

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Release date: 3/16/2017

The Dahlia Field

stories by Henry Alley


The Dahlia Field assembles fourteen short stories by Henry Alley, written and published over the past two decades, which explore the inexorable force of male-to-male attraction. Poetic and diverse, Alley’s stories portray the business man, the actor, the house painter, the arborist, the student, the scientist, the gardener, the professional athlete, the musician, along with the women allied with them, all facing the truths of their inner lives and outwardly seeking a safe gay haven. Expanding beyond the Oregon settings native to the author and his characters, these stories travel to Seattle, to the Olympic Peninsula, to Washington, D.C., and Vancouver, B.C., to look at the coming out of the soul in ways that are both flamboyant and subtle.

“Henry Alley is an excellent writer. His fiction is artfully artless, clear, concise, and real. Best of all, he regularly tells stories that nobody else is telling.”
—Christopher Bram


Praise for The Dahlia Field

“With sensitivity and deadpan humor, Alley’s luminous stories explore a wealth of characters and social types thrown into fertile combinations. His prose is limpid and straightforward, laced with droll psychology. The results are funny, poignant, and engrossing. A fine collection that explores and celebrates the ebb and flow of gay life.”

Kirkus Review

“In this exceptional collection of stories, Henry Alley delineates an endearing picture of the Pacific Northwest as well as some points beyond. In his precise yet vivid prose he gets to the heart of both a physical setting and the emotions of its inhabitants. These inhabitants, more often than not, are gay men of a certain age who are still at the height of their sexuality and draw. The men he writes of are waking up to the possibilities of their sexuality and striving to break free of society’s limitations. But the problems of those cities, especially the scourge of AIDS—the very fear of it—still touch their everyday lives.
—John Francis Leonard, A&U

“A piercing, gripping, somewhat gloomy yet expressly poignant collection that presents men at various stages of life in relationship circumstances that range from familiar and relatable to questionable and avoidable.”
—Christopher Verleger, Edge


About the author

Henry Alley is the author of four novels, Through Glass, The Lattice, Umbrella of Glass, and Precincts of Light, which explores the Measure Nine crisis in Oregon, when gay men and lesbians were threatened with being made silent. His stories have appeared in journals and anthologies over the past forty years, including Virginia Quarterly Review, Seattle Review, and Chelsea Station. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, with his husband, the poet and teacher Austin Gray.


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