Author Van Reid will speak at Southwest Harbor Public Library



Maine author Van Reid will speak at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Aug. 18. PHOTO COURTESY OF VAN REID

Maine author Van Reid will speak at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Aug. 18.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VAN REID

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Van Reid, author of the Moosepath League novels and other Maine Stories, will speak at Southwest Harbor Public Library on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m.

At a speaking event early in his writing career, Reid was asked by an audience member how long he’d been researching his comic historical novels about a late 19th century gentlemen’s club. After a moment’s thought, he said, “All my life.”

Reid grew up in a storytelling family listening to tales of his parent’s Depression Era childhoods in Wiscasset and Edgecomb, as well as stories comic, tragic and mystical passed down from previous generations. His own formative years in Sheepscott Village in the ‘60s gave him experience of a disappearing way of life and trained his ear to old ways of language. It is not surprising that his literary tastes ran to older styles and themes.

Over two decades, Reid wrote a series of short stories and three novels, most of which “are tucked away somewhere, where they won’t hurt anyone.” In the early ‘90s, he began to work on developing a stylistic voice that would carry mystery, romance, adventure and comedy as well as express his love for Maine and his fascination with its history and folklore. In 1995 a local paper began to carry the fruits of his work in the form of a serialized novel, then titled “The Moosepath League,” later renamed “Cordelia Underwood.” This was the first in an ongoing series of novels set in late 19th century Maine that follow the adventures and misadventures of a Portland gentleman’s club.

This throwback project caught the eye of a New York literary agency, and within three months of finishing the book, Reid had a multi-book contract with Viking Penguin. “Cordelia Underwood” garnered many positive reviews and was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times.

Reid lives on old family property in Edgecomb with his wife, son and daughter, a dog and a ghost at the end of the driveway. He will have books for sale and signing. Call the library at 244-7065.

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