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A Maine writer’s first novel reflects a keen sense of place

“It comes out almost all the time in my fiction”
Credit: NCM

PORTLAND, Maine — Gregory Brown knew early in life that he wanted to be a writer.

“I’m from a family on both my mom’s and dad’s sides of storytellers,” he says. “Both my grandmothers had this ability to kind of make even the smallest moments, like going to the grocery store, feel like this epic journey. There were strange twists and all these odd characters that would come up.”

That upbringing served Brown well. His first novel, “The Lowering Days,” has just been published, a tale set along Penobscot Bay in the 1980s. The terrain, both literal and fictional, is familiar to him—he grew up on the midcoast and his family has roots in the state that go back thirteen generations.

Over the years Brown has lived in a number of places, some of them outside of Maine. When he writes, though, the sense of place he grew up with is rarely far away. “There’s a lot of the Penobscot River valley in me,” he says, “and it comes out almost all the time in my fiction.”