The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Storiesby Sarah Orne Jewett
The Country of the Pointer Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett's masterpiece, established her among the consummate stylists of nineteenth-century American fiction. Composed in a series of beautiful web-like sketches, the novel is narrated by a young woman writer who unfolds a New England idyll rooted in friendship, particularly female friendship, weaving stories and conversations… See more details below
The Country of the Pointer Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett's masterpiece, established her among the consummate stylists of nineteenth-century American fiction. Composed in a series of beautiful web-like sketches, the novel is narrated by a young woman writer who unfolds a New England idyll rooted in friendship, particularly female friendship, weaving stories and conversations, imagery of sea, sky and earth, the tang of salt air and aromatic herbs into an historically significant 'fiction of community' in which themes and form are exquisitely matched. This edition, introduced by Alison Easton, also includes ten of Sarah Orne Jewett's short stories, among them 'The Queen's Twin', 'The Foreigner' and 'William's Wedding'.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- 5.23(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.67(d)
Read an Excerpt
There was something about the coast town of Dunnet which made it seem more attractive than other maritime villages of eastern Maine. Perhaps it was the simple fact of acquaintance with that neighborhood which made it so attaching, and gave such interest to the rocky shore and dark woods, and the few houses which seemed to be securely wedged and tree-nailed in among the ledges by the Landing. These houses made the most of their seaward view, and there was a gayety and determined floweriness in their bits of garden ground; the small-paned high windows in the peaks of their steep gables were like knowing eyes that watched the harbor and the far sea-line beyond, or looked northward all along the shore and its background of spruces and balsam firs. When one really knows a village like this and its surroundings, it is like becoming acquainted with a single person. The process of falling in love at first sight is as final as it is swift in such a case, but the growth of true friendship may be a lifelong affair.
After a first brief visit made two or three summers before in the course of a yachting cruise, a lover of Dunnet Landing returned to find the unchanged shores of the pointed firs, the same quaintness of the village with its elaborate conventionalities; all that mixture of remoteness, and childish certainty of being the centre of civilization of which her affectionate dreams had told. One evening in June, a single passenger landed upon the steamboat wharf. The tide was high, there was a fine crowd of spectators, and the younger portion of the company followed her with subdued excitement up the narrow street of the salt-aired, white-clapboarded little town.
Meet the Author
Sarah Orne Jewett (1849 - 1909) was born and raised in South Berwick, Maine. Before publication of The Country of the Pointed Firs, she published the novels A Country Doctor (1884) and A Marsh Island (1885), and nine collections of short stories.
Sarah Way Sherman is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and author of Sarah Orne Jewett, An American Persephone (UPNE, 1989) and numerous articles on 19th-century women writers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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My mother's family was from Maine, and she told me of this book when I was a kid. My sister finally found it and bought me a copy. It's so sweet! It's stories about a simpler life in Maine. It's a nice escape from our modern reality! (my mother's favorite story was the one about the Queen's biggest fan)