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Sarah Orne Jewett

(1849 - 1909)

Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her localized portraits of New England coastal towns and her insightful portrayals of the inner lives of their inhabitants. Born in South Berwick, Maine, Jewett was exposed to the natural beauty and the idiosyncratic characters of the rural coastal South Berwick area from a young age, which heavily influenced her writing. Despite receiving little formal education, Jewett was an avid reader and began writing short stories in her teenage years, many of which were published in prominent magazines.

Her most famous work, "The Country of the Pointed Firs" (1896), is a series of sketches about the fictional town of Dunnet Landing and is considered a classic of American literature. In her lifetime, Jewett published over 20 books, including novels, short story collections, and children's literature, all characterized by her clear, lyrical prose and deeply empathetic approach to character development. Her works have been lauded for their pioneering use of local color in American literature.

An influencer of later writers, such as Willa Cather, Jewett's legacy continues to be celebrated for its contribution to the regionalist tradition and its shrewd exploration of the complexities of human nature and community dynamics.

Short Stories member since November 2023