Ellen Cooney

My new novel, published by Coffee House Press, is my tenth. When I came to rural, midcoastal Maine twenty-one years ago, it was supposed to be all about finding quiet for brief periods–quiet as a change from a busy, crowded life in Cambridge MA. But I stayed, and I keep on staying.

All I see from the windows of my writing room are trees and sky. The ocean’s close by, and the Kennebec River, and a large freshwater pond. It is a watery world. Did I start to be a better writer because of the quiet and the pace of daily life defined by light and rural-life chores? I like to think so. I would also like to think that after a lifetime of reading and writing–I published my first novel in 1983–I have some expertise in doing things with words, sentences, paragraphs, a story, a book.

But every new book is a whole new life. Sometimes it amazes me that all my books are so different from each other. But I am glad for that. I never know what is coming once I have characters and a basic sense of a story. I feel so lucky that I keep on being surprised.

Books in order of publication:

Small-Town Girl – 1983

All the Way Home – 1984

The Old Ballerina – 1999

The White Palazzo – 2002

Gun Ball Hill – 2004

A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies – 2007

Lambrusco – 2008

Thanksgiving – 2013

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances – 2014

One Night Two Souls Went Walking – 2020

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