Newbery Medal-winning writer, Rachel Field, wrote “Calico Bush,” “Hitty: Her First Hundred Years” and other children’s books cherished by multiple generations of families. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBIN CLIFFORD WOOD

Maine writer Rachel Field celebrated in new book

CRANBERRY ISLES — “The Field House: A Writer’s Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine,” Robin Clifford Wood’s memoir/biography exploring the late Sutton Island writer Rachel Field’s remarkable life, was scheduled to be released Tuesday, May 4. Wood writes from the perspective of a woman who lived in Field’s old, neglected island home, sparking a unique sisterhood across time.  

Wood will sign copies in-person of “The Field House” (She Writes Press, 2021) from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 7, at the Edythe Dyer Library in Hampden. At 7 p.m. Thursday, June 3, Bar Harbor’s Jesup Memorial Library will host Wood in an online presentation. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, the author will give an online talk and answer questions through the Bangor Public Library.   

Born of illustrious New England stock, Rachel Field was a National Book Award-winning novelist, a Newbery Medal-winning children’s writer, a poet, playwright and rising Hollywood success in the early 20th century. Her light was abruptly extinguished at the age of 47, when she died at the pinnacle of her personal happiness and professional acclaim. In Maine, Field is especially known for her classic novel “Hitty: Her First Hundred Years” as well as her poems including “If Once You Have Slept on an Island.”   

Fifty years later, Wood stepped onto the sagging floorboards of Field’s long-neglected home on the rugged shores of Sutton Island and began unearthing up the author’s history. She was determined to answer the questions that filled the house’s every crevice: Who was this vibrant, talented artist whose very name entrances those who still remember her work? Why is that work — which was widely celebrated in her lifetime — so largely forgotten today?  

Wood is a graduate of Yale University, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in American studies. She also holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Rochester and a Master in Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. Her feature stories have appeared in Solstice Literary Magazine, Port City Life Magazine,, Bangor Metro, Valley News and Genesee Valley Parent Newsmagazine. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs. She enjoys being active outdoors, playing the piano, doing crossword puzzles, eating a really good cheeseburger and having regular visits with her four children and their growing families.  

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