Tag Archives: Fiction

Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)

by John Samson (2000) [CLEMENS, SAMUEL LANGHORNE], “MARK TWAIN” (1835- 1910). Though more widely known for his writing on the Mississippi River, Samuel Clemens traveled extensively at sea, experiences that find their way into a number of the writings he Continue reading & text links

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Ballou, Maturin Murray (“Lieut. Murray,” “Frank Forester”)

by Mary Malloy (2000) [BALLOU, MATURIN MURRAY], “LIEUT. MURRAY,” “FRANK FORESTER” (1820-1895). An influential publisher of American periodicals, Maturin Murray Ballou was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He traveled extensively and entered the literary world by writing descriptive letters of his Continue reading & text links

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Mowat, Farley

by Boyd Childress (2000) MOWAT, FARLEY [MCGILL] (1921-2014). Farley Mowat is one of Canada’s more popular and controversial writers. Born 12 May 1921, in Belleview, Ontario, Mowat graduated from the University of Toronto in 1949. He spent two years during Continue reading & text links

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Poyer, David

by Joseph Navratil (2000) POYER, DAVID [ANDREISSEN] (1949- ). David Poyer graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971 and is a naval reserve captain, experienced sailor, and underwater diver. Poyer adapted his active-duty navy experiences to write best-selling sagas of Continue reading & text links

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Porter, Katherine Anne

by Jeraldine R. Kraver (2000) PORTER, KATHERINE ANNE (1890-1980). Callie Russell Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas, into a poor family and died in Silver Spring, Maryland, early assuming her paternal grandmother’s name. Living in Mexico, New York, Paris, Germany, Continue reading & text links

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Poe, Edgar Allan

by Joan Tyler Mead (2000) POE, EDGAR ALLAN (1809-1849). Edgar Allan Poe, best known for his tales of Gothic horror, was a writer of poetry, short and long fiction, an unfinished drama, criticism, literary theory, essays, and a “cosmological prose poem.” Continue reading & text links

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Phelps, Elizabeth

by Mira Dock (2000) PHELPS ELIZABETH [STUART] (1844-1911). Growing up in Andover, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Phelps was a lifelong resident of New England and had a summer home in Gloucester. She was a staunch feminist who participated in causes that ranged from Continue reading & text links

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Paretsky, Sara

by Mary DeJong Obuchowski (2000) PARETSKY, SARA (1947- ). V. I. Warshawski, the protagonist in all of Sara Paretsky’s mysteries to date, is a private investigator in Chicago who pursues criminals. In some of her exploits, Warshawski traces them to Continue reading & text links

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Wouk, Herman

by Laurence W. Mazzeno (2000) WOUK, HERMAN (1915-2019). Herman Wouk, author of the best-selling sea novel The Caine Mutiny (1951) and other works about the navy in World War II, was born in New York City, eldest son of Russian Jewish Continue reading & text links

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Woolson, Constance Fenimore

by Victoria Brehm (2000) WOOLSON, CONSTANCE FENIMORE (1840-1894). One of the first American realists, Constance Fenimore Woolson began her career writing about the Great Lakes, including an early story, “Margaret Morris” (1872), which is the first shipwreck fiction of the Continue reading & text links

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Wilson, Sloan

by Robert Shenk (2000) WILSON, SLOAN (1920-2003). Sloan Wilson was a Coast Guard officer before he became a novelist and a yachtsman before he gained a commission in the Coast Guard. He came to regard his Coast Guard experience as Continue reading & text links

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Williams, William Carlos

by Robert E. Kibler (2000) WILLIAMS, WILLIAM CARLOS (1883-1963). Although modern poet, novelist, and essayist William Carlos Williams once said that all of his art came out of the work-yard of his lifelong home in Rutherford, New Jersey, where he Continue reading & text links

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Vukelich, George

by Donald P. Curtis (2000) VUKELICH, GEORGE (1927-1995). “[I]t was good to be on the Great Lakes,” wrote George Vukelich in 1955 to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal, after a spell as an ore boat deckhand. This sentiment pervades Continue reading & text links

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Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr.

by Christopher Lee (2000) VONNEGUT, KURT, JR (1922-2007). Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis but soon moved east, eventually settling in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1951, where he lived for twenty years. His essay “Brief Encounters on the Inland Waterway” Continue reading & text links

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Vollmann, William T.

by Dana L. Peterson (2000) VOLLMANN, WILLIAM T[ANNER]. (1959- ). William T. Vollmann’s very ambitious project is a seven-novel series entitled Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes, which interweaves history, myth and legend, imagination, illustrations, and personal travel Continue reading & text links

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Vidal, Gore

by Donald Yannella (2000) VIDAL, GORE [EUGENE LUTHER] (1925-2012). Gore Vidal was born in West Point, New York, attended Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and served in the army during World War II. A novelist, playwright, and essayist, he Continue reading & text links

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Urquhart, Jane

by Jill B. Gidmark (2000) URQUHART, JANE (1949- ). Jane Urquhart was born near Lake Nipigon, Ontario, north of Lake Superior, where she spent the first five years of her life. Vivid memories of extended time on the north shore of Continue reading & text links

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Updike, John

by Thomas R. Brooks (2000) UPDIKE, JOHN [HOYER] (1932-2009). John Updike is the author of over fifteen novels and an impressive body of shorter fiction, poetry, and criticism, much of which has been published in The New Yorker. Born in Pennsylvania, Continue reading & text links

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Symmes, John Cleves, “Captain Adam Seaborn”

by Richard J. King [SYMMES, JOHN CLEVES], “CAPTAIN ADAM SEABORN” (1780-1829). Some scholars believe that “Captain Adam Seaborn,” the author of this fictional, first-person narrative, is the pseudonym of army officer and amateur geographer Captain John Cleves Symmes (1780-1829). Symmes Continue reading & text links

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Stowe, Harriet Beecher

by Margherita M. Desy (2000) STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER (1811-1896). Harriet Beecher Stowe is internationally famous for her antislavery best-seller Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). In the summer of 1852, still living in Brunswick, Maine, where she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe began Continue reading & text links

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Stone, William Leete

by Boyd Childress (2000) STONE, WILLIAM LEETE (1792-1844). William Leete Stone was a journalist and writer whose career as a newspaperman largely overshadowed his work as a historian. Born in New Paltz, New York, Stone had little formal schooling in advance Continue reading & text links

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Stone, Robert

by Dennis Berthold (2000) STONE, ROBERT [ANTHONY] (1937-2015). A distinguished, award-winning novelist, Robert Stone turned to nautical fiction in his fifth book, Outerbridge Reach (1992). Born in New York to a family of tugboaters, he served from 1955 to 1958 as Continue reading & text links

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Stoddard, Elizabeth

by Elizabeth Schultz (2000) STODDARD, ELIZABETH [DREW BARSTOW] (1823-1902). Iconoclastic novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet, Elizabeth Stoddard was born in the coastal town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, the daughter of its foremost shipbuilder and maritime merchant. Both the fluctuations of Continue reading & text links

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Stevens, Wallace

by Nancy Prothro Arbuthnot (2000) STEVENS, WALLACE (1879-1955). Wallace Stevens is one of the most influential American poets of the twentieth century, whose central concern is with the relationship of the human imagination and the world of physical reality. Stevens Continue reading & text links

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Steinbeck, John

by Susan F. Beegel (2000) STEINBECK, JOHN [ERNST] (1902-1968). John Steinbeck, winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in literature, was born in Salinas, California. As a child, he divided his time between his family’s home in the rich agricultural land of Continue reading & text links

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Simms, William Gilmore

by Norman E. Stafford (2000) SIMMS, WILLIAM GILMORE (1806-1870). William Gilmore Simms was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent most of his life. He was, with the exception of Edgar Allan Poe, the most significant author of the antebellum Continue reading & text links

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Siegel, Robert Harold

by Mira Dock (2000) SIEGEL, ROBERT HAROLD (1939-2012). Growing up in the Midwest, Robert Harold Siegel also spent time on Long Island’s Jones Beach, cruised the Caribbean, and sailed and whale-watched off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, and California. His Continue reading & text links

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Semmes, Raphael

by Anna E. Lomando (2000) SEMMES, RAPHAEL (1809-1877). A naval officer first in the United States and then in the Confederate navy, Raphael Semmes wrote two books on his naval adventures. The first, Afloat and Ashore during the Mexican War (1851), Continue reading & text links

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Searls, Hank

  by C. Herbert Gilliland (2000) SEARLS, HENRY HUNT “HANK,” JR. (1922-2017). Novelist and author of nonfiction and short fiction, Hank Searls was born in San Francisco 10 August 1922. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944 with the wartime-accelerated Continue reading & text links

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe

by R. D. Madison and Victoria Brehm (2000) SCHOOLCRAFT, HENRY ROWE (1793-1864). Born in upstate New York, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was trained as a glassmaker. Like many Americans of his age, however, as a young man Schoolcraft went west, where Continue reading & text links

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Sargent, Epes

by Mary Malloy (2000) SARGENT, EPES (1813-1880). A Boston newspaperman and son of a Gloucester sea captain, Epes Sargent is best remembered as the author of the lyrics of one of the best-known nautical songs of the nineteenth century. In Continue reading & text links

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Rowson, Susanna H.

by Philip Barnard (2000) ROWSON, SUSANNA H[ASWELL]. (1762-1824). Born in Portsmouth, England, Susanna H. Rowson became an actress, educator, prolific writer in several genres, and notably the author of Charlotte Temple (1791), America’s first best-selling novel. Rowson’s father, William Haswell, was Continue reading & text links

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Robertson, Morgan

by Donald P. Curtis (2000) ROBERTSON, MORGAN (1861-1915). Son of a Great Lakes captain, Morgan Robertson was born in Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario. He wrote popular sea fiction with the authoritative voice of an expert seaman. Sailing from 1877 Continue reading & text links

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Roberts, Kenneth

by Lawrence I. Berkove (2000) ROBERTS, KENNETH [LEWIS] (1885-1957). Chronicling the lives of Maine coastal families in most of his distinguished historical novels of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Kenneth Roberts acquired and put to use an impressive and detailed Continue reading & text links

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Roark, Garland (“George Garland”)

by Joseph Flibbert (2000) [ROARK, GARLAND], “GEORGE GARLAND” (1904-1985). Born in Groesbeck, Texas, Garland Roark spent the first two decades of his work life on the advertising staffs of various retail stores in Texas, promoting everything from groceries to jewelry. In Continue reading & text links

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Riesenberg, Felix

by Bert Bender (2000) RIESENBERG, FELIX (1879-1939). Felix Riesenberg was one of the most important figures in American literature of the sea during the 1920s and 1930s; his literary contributions were preceded by many years of first-hand sea experience during the Continue reading & text links

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Richard, Mark

by Hugh Egan (2000) RICHARD, MARK (1955- ). Author of the sea novel Fishboy (1993), Mark Richard (pronounced ree-SHARD) has been, at different times in his life, disc jockey, newspaperman, photographer, and private investigator. As a young man, Richard took time Continue reading & text links

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Reynolds, J. N.

by Peter F. deCataldo (2000) REYNOLDS, J[EREMIAH]. N. (1799?-1858). Details of the life of J. N. Reynolds are sketchy, and his lingering reputation today is mainly the result of his influence upon major works of Edgar Allan Poe (The Narrative of Continue reading & text links

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Optic, Oliver (William T. Adams)

by Frank Rotsaert (2000) [ADAMS, WILLIAM TAYLOR], “OLIVER OPTIC” (1822-1897). Using the pen name “Oliver Optic,” William Taylor Adams spent twenty years as a teacher in Boston schools and wrote popular children’s fiction in the nineteenth century. The publication of The Continue reading & text links

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Olson, Toby

by Peter H. McCracken (2000) OLSON, [MERLE THEODORE] TOBY (1937- ). Poet and novelist Toby Olson was born in Berwyn, Illinois, but spent much of his childhood moving around the United States. This constant movement instilled a theme of travel into Continue reading & text links

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Ogilvie, Elisabeth

by Brian Anderson (2000) OGILVIE, ELISABETH [MAY] (1917-2006). Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and soon thereafter uprooted to Maine, Elisabeth Ogilvie gained critical and popular attention for her first novel, High Tide at Noon (1944). The novel and its sequels, Storm Tide Continue reading & text links

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Norris, Frank

by Donald Yannella (2000) NORRIS, [BENJAMIN] FRANKLIN] (1870-1902). Although his short life was adventurous enough, including trips to Africa’s Transvaal and Cuba during the Spanish-American War, Frank Norris’ disposition to set two of his less successful novels partly at sea probably Continue reading & text links

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Nordhoff, Charles, the younger AND James Norman Hall

by Grove Koger (2000) NORDHOFF, CHARLES [BERNARD] the younger (1887-1947) AND JAMES NORMAN HALL (1887-1951). Writers Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall were born the same year but worlds apart, Nordhoff in London of American parents and Hall in Colfax, Continue reading & text links

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Nordhoff, Charles, the elder

by John B. Hattendorf (2000) NORDHOFF, CHARLES, the elder (1830-1901). A journalist, Charles Nordhoff was born in Erwitte, a village in Westphalia, Prussia. At five, he emigrated with his parents to Ohio, where they died. Left an orphan in the care Continue reading & text links

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Nemerov, Howard

by William E. Tanner (2000) NEMEROV, HOWARD [STANLEY] (1920-1991). Howard Nemerov was born in New York City and died in University City, Missouri. He served as a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force before joining the U.S. Air Force Continue reading & text links

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Nelson, James L.

by John F. Hussey (2000, revised 2014, by Eleanore MacLean) NELSON, JAMES L. (1962- ). Born in Lewiston, Maine, James L. Nelson, a former professional square-rig sailor, traces his love of the sea to his earliest memories when he chose Continue reading & text links

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Morrison, Toni

by Christian Loriel Lucas (2020) MORRISON, TONI (1931-2019). Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorrain, Ohio. She was given the baptismal name of Chloe Anthony, and chose “Toni” as her nickname when a college student. She earned her BA Continue reading & text links

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Moore, Ruth

by Tina M. Aronis (2000) MOORE, RUTH (1903-1989). Ruth Moore was born on Gott’s Island, Maine, where she lived for thirteen years before moving to the mainland to continue her education. She graduated from New York State College for Teachers in Continue reading & text links

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Moore, Christopher

by Mira Dock (2000) MOORE, CHRISTOPHER K. (1957- ). Christopher Moore has lived on the California coast for over twenty years, using his experiences on diving and fishing boats around the world in two offbeat novels. Island of the Sequined Love Continue reading & text links

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Mitchell, Joseph

by Eleanore MacLean (2014) MITCHELL, JOSEPH (1908-1996). Joseph Mitchell grew up in Fairmont, North Carolina, a farming town in the state’s coastal plains. In 1929 Mitchell moved to New York City and began his career working as a crime reporter and Continue reading & text links

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