Colorado Springs, CO – January 26, 2016
Henri Nouwen, widely recognized as one of the most influential spiritual writers of our time, left behind a treasure of unpublished work when he died in 1996, and this Fall the first of that content will be mined, announced Andrea Heinecke of Alive Literary Agency, who negotiated a multi-book deal for his Trust with Convergent Books, a division of Penguin Random House. Love, Henri, a compilation of his unpublished letters, is first to press and will release in September on the 20th anniversary of Nouwen’s death.
“It was a great privilege to spend time at the Nouwen archives in Toronto,” said Heinecke. “Henri ministered to all manner of people over the course of his long career, and deeply believed the love of God needed to be shown to all, regardless of religious, political, or cultural background. His legacy has an ever-increasing relevance in today’s busy and fragmented world.” She said his letters were written with the same honesty, intimacy, and deeply felt compassion that characterizes Henri’s published works, and were often warm, perceptive, encouraging and always deeply human.
“Jesus’ invitation to ‘lay down my life for others’ has always meant more to me than any physical martyrdom,” Henri wrote in one letter. “I have always heard these words as an invitation to make my own life struggles, my doubts, my hopes, my fears and my joys, my pains, and my moments of ecstasy available to others as a source of consolation and healing.” In returning to his letters today, readers will encounter Henri just as he was, in all his brokenness and humanity, but also in his unwavering faith in God’s love for him, and his desire to share that love with others.
Karen Pascal, Executive Director of the Henri Nouwen Society and Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust, says she was aware her organization had “a treasure of wonderful unpublished materials” for years. This includes partially completed manuscripts and more than 5,000 letters, which have been sitting in an archive at the Kelly Library at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Canada.
Alive Literary was selected to represent the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust in their search for a publishing partner for Nouwen’s unpublished works. The appointment of Alive was made after a request for proposals from literary agencies throughout Canada and the United States, followed by personal interviews.
Nouwen gained international renown as the author of over 40 books on the spiritual life, including such classics as The Wounded Healer, The Inner Voice of Love, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and Life of the Beloved. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold upwards of seven million copies, resonating with people across the religious, spiritual, cultural, and political spectrums.
Nouwen studied at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, and taught at the University of Notre Dame and the Divinity Schools of Yale and Harvard. He spent time serving the poor in South America, and in 1986 joined Jean Vanier’s L’Arche Daybreak, a community home near Toronto for developmentally disabled adults and their caregivers. Henri used his ministry to create space where people might find inner freedom and love, and ever-increasing numbers of readers, writers, teachers, and seekers have been guided by his literary legacy.
For further information on Henri Nouwen, please visit the Henri Nouwen Society at: www.henrinouwen.com.