Men Shake Hands -  Cover


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Men Shake Hands

A Creative Reminiscence
by Dennis Britten

$25.00 suggested retail price

Softcover, 6x9 inches, 432 pages

ISBN: 978-0-578-30914-9

Published in 2022 by Maderlson Works,
Beaverton, Oregon

Book designed and produced by Lucky Valley Press, Jacksonville, Oregon

Distributed worldwide by Ingram

To contact the author, please send a message to Lucky Valley Press

View or download a one-page promo pdf.

Men Shake Hands -  header

"...a gentle story yet poignantly profound."

In Men Shake Hands, precocious four-year-old Davey grapples with unanswered questions while living the up and down life of a child of divorced parents.

He's in post-war Multnomah, Oregon in the 1940s and 50s, where divorce is unusual. Davey himself is an unusual child, more interested in acting and singing than baseball and tag like the other boys in his neighborhood.

When Davey is betrayed, we cry with him. When he puts on his play in the garage, we applaud! At his first sensations of love, we put our virtual arms around him. And when he discovers his voice and sings, we rejoice, and follow him to New York City.

Men Shake Hands is a heart-grabbing story creatively based on the author's life, told from Davey's own point of view.

An excerpt from Men Shake Hands:

"Billy and me went out to the teeter totter. Out through the bushes along the path with their tiny green buds. Fog was hanging around the trees making the woods quiet and creepy. Black and gray ghost trees. All you could hear was soft dripping from the branches. There was a deep, damp woods smell of dirt and pine needles. The air was heavy to breathe but it felt good in my chest, breathing in that woods. The damp in the wood of the teeter totter board came through my cords. It made my fanny feel cool where I was sitting. Like the woods was trying to get inside you. Into my skin through my wool coat, through my thick cords, through my wet shoes, in through my hair, and through my nose, making me part of it. Like I was part of that April woods starting to come alive."

Dennis Britten

A lifelong man of the theater, Dennis Britten began as a musician, studying composition and developing as a singer. He became a member of Actor's Equity and began to perform at an early age.

After years of performing opera and musical theatre in New York City, nationally and abroad, he returned to school where he obtained an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude with departmental honors, in theater direction at SUNY Stony Brook and then continued on there to earn a master's degree in creative writing. His first novel was his master's thesis, To Value Both.

While still in NY, he collaborated with Kenneth Fuchs in writing the book and lyrics to their Off off-Broadway musical, If Wishes Were Horses. Later, as an Asst. Professor at Arizona State University, he founded his first theatre company, Phoenix Show Space Theatre where he acted as Artistic Director and manager.

Back in his home state of Oregon, he founded and became Artistic Director of Light Opera of Portland - Absurdity Done in Complete Sincerity, where his second musical, We Met in Moscow, written in collaboration with composer, Kevin Bryant Lay was produced. Dennis is also the author of one collection of poetry, Made in Oregon. Follow Dennis on Facebook.