Yankee Magazine columnist Edie Clark will read from States of Grace: Encounters with Real Yankees at the Hancock Town Library on Thursday October 20th at 7:00 pm.
States of Grace: Encounters with Real Yankees, a finalist for best nonfiction book from the NH Writer's Project, includes more than thirty profiles of the known (Granny D, Carolyn Chute, Dennis Littky, Roxanne Quimby, David Carroll) as well as the unknown:
· A woman who’d never made a quilt before but who dreamed a pattern one night and spent the next six months stitching together her dream pattern, the first of many she has created entirely by hand and then has given away, with love.
· A man who took photographs of his hometown, Hartford, Ct., for most of his life using a Brownie reflex camera and creating what amounted to a complete architectural history of his beloved city. The photos are now in the permanent collection at the Hartford Public Library.
· A man who, in 1935, bought a house and five acres of hayfield in central Maine and promised his wife they would someday have “gardens we can walk through.” Both of them are gone now but his extensive gardens have been saved as a national treasure that thousands walk through each summer.
· A Rhode Island man who conquered his retirement boredom by creating an entire miniature village out of discarded aluminum cans. The village (every house is furnished inside) is now in a museum of historic preservation in Newport.
· An eighty-nine-year-old lobsterwoman and shepherdess who kept her sheep on an island and her heart in a lighthouse.
· A group of young people who followed a Cuban psychologist into a magical future.
· A man in love with grass.
Of these people, Clark says in her introduction: “(these are) all ostensibly ordinary people but who had one central passion that drove their lives. Eventually, I realized that they were, each of them, living in a state of grace: there was one deep and abiding passion at the center of their lives which endowed them with an elegance and guided them with generosity and good will.”
Each story, many of which were originally published in Yankee magazine, is augmented with an update at the end of the piece.
Edie Clark has written extensively about New England in award-winning feature stories for Yankee magazine for more than thirty years. She is Contributing Editor for Yankee. She has been a Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and Visiting Writer at Northern Michigan University. She has taught writing and journalism in the MFA program at Emerson College and is currently teaching at Franklin Pierce University. Her column, Mary's Farm, has been a popular feature in Yankee since 1990. Among her works are The View from Mary's Farm (2005), a collection of essays from the column; Saturday Beans and Sunday Suppers: Kitchen Stories from Mary's Farm (2007), which features essays about favorite foods along with recipes; and her memoir, The Place He Made (1995), which was reissued in a new edition in 2009.
This program is free and open to all. For more information, call the library at 525-4411.