Witness Chair Reviews

“Natives understand what tourists do not. In love’s service and the process of life and healing, only the wounded soldier can serve. Read Sherry’s words and understand why.”   – Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Love, Animals & Miracles: Inspiring True Stories Celebrating the Healing Bond

“Chris and Peter’s chair models reflecting the 1692 Salem witchcraft crisis are shrouded in invisible layers of fear—fear of the unknown, fear of isolation, and fear of dark nights. These fears spread like an epidemic ruling over villagers’ behaviors in an area where different cultures collided. As anthropomorphic objects, chairs play hide and seek between reality and illusion.”Hirokazu Fukawa, sculptor

“With a poet’s command of language, Sherry Horton delivers this account of her life with the artist Chris Horton and his death from leukemia in 2005, an account that is both lyrical and straightforward, intimate and heartbreaking. A thoroughly captivating read.” – Pam Lewis, author of Speak Softly, She Can Hear, Perfect Family and A Young Wife

“Author Sherry Horton’s Witness Chair is on one level the story of her marriage and journey into loss as her gifted artist husband is diagnosed with and ultimately dies of leukemia. But just as the ‘chairs’ of her late husband’s Salem Witch Trials art installation—which launch each chapter—point to a broader exploration of the cultural and interpersonal dynamics of ‘that strange history,’ so does Horton’s narrative of what ‘happened’ bear a much deeper and universal witness. Horton’s memoir is a beautifully written, poignantly honest study of the interplay of layers: foreground and background; the explicit and the implicit; drama and restraint; matches and mismatches. It is a quietly searing account of the unspoken—what takes place in the spaces—and the ‘challenge of anchoring the truth about anything historical or personal.’” – Leah Leatherbee, LCSW, trauma therapist, Director, MindBodyCare New York, LLC.

“Married twenty years, I already look back with some regret at missed opportunities to connect and at patterns of communications we have let develop. This memoir is a call to open up to those chances. Witness Chair is an account of a bittersweet journey through a lifelong marriage and a husband’s illness—with art and love as the salve to heal all.” – Susan Clee, RN, AN (anthroposophic nurse), BSN

“Witness Chair has so much I appreciate and admire, mainly, a compelling narrative clean to the bone and measured with the true sound of the visceral heart. The story breaks and heals and breaks again, like waves crashing over the granite rocks artist Christopher Horton loved so much and his wife, memoirist and teacher Sherry Horton, comes to honor and respect. Witness Chair refers to the sixteen maquettes tenderly made by Horton and his colleague Pete McLean based like stations of the cross to commemorate the Salem Witch trials. In the memoir, each chair opens a chapter of the book, and the chairs reveal much about this couple, married for forty years and thrust suddenly into the unsafe place where there are no easy conclusions to the messy business of loving and dying; to the patient art of making art, of articulating what has been buried and forsaken; to the practice of living fully in the face of suffering and death. We are all witnesses by the end of this wonderful book, a book to cherish when the long day is done, and, yes, when the dawn appears again each new morning.” – Elizabeth Gordon McKim, Poet