Sometimes authors and readers experience geographic convergence

By Maggie Trout | Jul 22, 2014
Photo by: Trout Letter from author Dorothy Cannell, 1985

It was unforseeable that either author Dorothy Cannell or I would be living in Maine, yet such is the case, and events like the upcoming Book Festival at Beyond The Sea in Lincolnville Beach, give book lovers the unique opportunity to meet writers who have chosen Maine for either full time or seasonal residence.  Luckily, Dorothy Cannell will be amongst the many authors scheduled this weekend.  Like me, you may have found that holding and reading a certain book yields unanticipated transformative powers that take our thoughts and emotions beyond an author's intention, subject, and story line.   


Such was the case with me and Dorothy Cannell's first book, The Thin Woman.  Something in the reading The Thin Woman resonated so strongly when I read the book in 1985, that I sent a fan letter to her through her publisher.  It wasn't that I identified with the heroine, Ellie, who had a love for edibles which caused a bit of a weight problem.  (At the time, I was very fit).  But something beyond the enjoyable story had special impact. 


To my everylasting delight, I received a lovely letter of thanks, typewritten on a typewriter! on fine letterhead paper, which I hope you can see well enough in the image.  Amazingly, (or perhaps not so much), both book and letter have weathered numerous peregrinations throughout the country. 


With frequent moves, many things get left behind, but treasures of the heart and spirit abide.  Beyond the words on the page, books take on the aura of place and situation in which they are read, even the scent of a book can evoke memories of a day, a season, a time in one's life...a day in a bookshop in Maine...reading on the beach. Thank you, Dorothy Cannell, and authors and independent bookstore owners for being keepers of the flame, and all the libraries where I have first discovered a book I had to own.


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