Elizabeth Strout '77 is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize.She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City.
Margaret Creighton's interest in history was sparked by a distinct event. One day, some time ago, her great aunt Letitia, of Thomaston, Maine, handed her a packet of letters tied up with a black ribbon. The letters had never been opened. They were written by Letitia’s mother to her brother, Will, who had decided to follow a family tradition and go to sea. In 1886 he sailed from Newport News, Virginia, headed for Barcelona. He never made it. The ship Norris disappeared in the mid Atlantic without a trace. The letters to Will were collected by the American consul in Spain, and then returned to his sister. “I am so very sorry,” wrote the diplomat, in an attached note.
Creighton’s interest in the history of seafaring—and the wider world of America in the decades after Independence--stemmed from that discovery. She wrote about families at sea, men who sailed before the mast, and, in Rites and Passages, about the maritime lives of American whalemen.
Creighton lives in coastal Maine with her husband, children, and two naughty terriers. She is a professor of history at Bates College.
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