Photo by Just-Us-3 used under a Creative Commons license.
Geoffrey Wolff, The Edge of Maine (National Geographic, 2005).
A light stew of travelogue, memoir and history of the coast of Maine, focused mostly on the mid-coast north and south of Bath, where Wolff recently moved after years of visiting the state. Topics include: sailing in fog in the Gulf of Maine; the ill-fated Popham Colony of 1607; tensions between year-round residents, wealthy visitors and absentee landowners; ship-building; Seguin lighthouse; the secrets of lobsters; and the nineteenth-century trade in Kennebec River ice. Wolff doesn’t develop any of these topics enough to make you an expert, but he doesn’t bore, either.
Here is a bio of Wolff. The New York Times ran this brief note about Wolff earlier this year, and this article by Francine Prose about Wolff and his brother, Tobias Wolff, in 1989. Ann Geracimos (The Washington Times) calls the book a more conventional but no less enticing homage to the coast of Maine. Ann Patchett found it riveting. Jennifer found a copy in Blue Hill, Maine, and says it precisely described where she was standing. Here is The Friends of Seguin Island Lighthouse Website. And Snopes debunks a funny story about a nautical encounter that appears in the book.