Although some very famous works of fiction may be set on the Maine coast (à la, Murder She Wrote), numerous novels and stories have also been written about and inspired by the history, communities, and remote landscape of interior Maine.
One such classic is Arundel, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Maine author Kenneth Roberts. First published in 1930, Arundel is a fictionalized account of General Benedict Arnold’s arduous—and ultimately failed—campaign to wrest Québec City from the British in January 1776. Another Maine writer, Carolyn Chute, has spent decades examining poverty and small town living in books like The Beans of Egypt, Maine.
There’s just something about our state that screams “mystery,” because a huge number of books set here are crime novels, mysteries, and thrillers. Paul Doiron has received a lot of attention and awards for his series following fictional game warden, Mike Bowditch. Famed British thriller writer Lee Child even placed one of his Jack Reacher novels in Abbott.
Maine’s woods are unique in the Northeast for their vastness and opportunities for solitude, qualities that are vanishing from many of our busy lives. Quiet and solitude can be essential for enjoying a good book—and for writing one. If you are a writer hoping to find inspiration in the Maine woods, we recommend you check out Monson Arts, a program of the Libra Foundation, which offers a paid residency program in the greater Moosehead Lake region. Readers looking for books and stories set in Maine can check out this online resource. For an index of Maine-based authors, visit the Maine State Library online.