Managing Editor Allen Mendenhall Publishes “Of Bees and Boys,” A Collection of Essays

Allen Mendenhall

Managing editor Allen Mendenhall has published his second book this year.  Of Bees and Boys, a collection of essays, was released May 10th.  From the publisher, Red Dirt Press:

In this collection of essays, literary lawyer Allen Mendenhall examines ideas about place, literature, reading, family, and custom from the vanishing perspective of a traditional Southerner. Whether he is lamenting the lack of learning among lawyers, recalling experiences with grandparents, or speculating about the impact of technology on scholarship, Mendenhall’s distinctive prose, self-deprecating honesty, and contemplative tone make him one of our most interesting social critics. Always attentive to the profundities of everyday life, he evokes nostalgic feelings while expressing sometimes pointed, sometimes sensitive opinions that reflect a deep understanding of history, heritage, and the human condition.

Advanced praise for Of Bees and Boys:

Of Bees and Boys: Lines from a Southern Lawyer is a delicious trip through a marvelous brain. Allen Mendenhall is the most literary of lawyers. He might have been a character out of Twain or Faulkner or his beloved Harper Lee explaining eternal truths to youngsters so they can understand and remember them. But he is real, and he opens his prolific mind in these joyous pages. If you are not from the South and want a slice of breezy southern life seen through the eyes of a master storyteller, read this book. If you are from the South, no doubt you will find a small piece of your personal history in here. I loved these tales so much, I read them twice; and I am from New Jersey.— Honorable Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel; Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Mendenhall is an artist and writer of the first caliber. His talent shines brightly in even the simplest of sentences. Other lawyer scribes have managed to escape the professional taint by retreating to fiction, but Mendenhall accomplishes even more in the world of nonfiction. The wide-ranging collection of essays in this book, some relating to the law and others on altogether disparate subjects, reveals a probing mind unchecked by subject matter, and an astonishing gift for the written word. Mark Twain is said to have written, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.” Time and again, Mendenhall harnesses the lightning.— William Bernhardt, Bestselling Author of Over 40 Books and Recipient of the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award, and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award 

Allen Mendenhall possesses a mighty brain and a deep soul.  He also wields a powerful pen and knows the power of the word (and the Word).  From stoicism to southernism, from bees to Freud, from gossip to incarceration, and from wiretaps to existentialism, Mendenhall leaves few things unexamined.  In this gorgeous collection of essays, Mendenhall ably and eloquently gives proof as to why he’s one of the most important rising minds in America.— Bradley J. Birzer, Russell Amos Kirk Chair in History at Hillsdale College 

Allen Mendenhall is a natural storyteller. With the dark humor and wisdom of Mark Twain, he weaves tales of his Southern past: boys wage war on yellow jackets; a grandfather reveals truths about an Alabama author and the characters in her famous novel; a young man faces cancer and his own mortality. This remembered world is the Deep South, a place that holds fast to traditional values and the virtues of family, community, and religion. Of Bees and Boys invites the reader to enter this world and, for a while, become a part of it.— Julia Nunnally Duncan, Author of A Place That Was Home and A Part of Me

From another Southern Lawyer, from bees to frogs,  yellow jackets and possums, cancer and death, “What is the meaning of life?”  is explored in this collection of essays. Fascinating reading.— Honorable Thomas L. Waller, Kentucky Circuit Judge, Retired

In Allen Mendenhall’s collection Of Bees and Boys, you’ll find themes that range the gamut of human feeling, all written with the grit and panache of this unusual writer. His writing is influenced by his unusual experiences, which include living in Japan, surviving cancer in his 20s with a less than 15 percent expectation to live, his work as an attorney and through this, prison educator, and of course, the strongest current that runs through this book is his Southern upbringing and sense of identity. … His childhood recollections and modern encounters all play into the book, and a sharp sense of humor shines through so brightly that even his ponderings on death and dying have delightful bits of comedy injected into the prose.— The Montgomery Advertiser 

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