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A new novel set in Maine was inspired in part by the lobstermen of Lincoln County

“I was kind of in awe of everything they did, how hard they were working.”

PORTLAND, Maine — In his new book, “The Midcoast,” Adam White followed the advice often given to aspiring novelists: Write what you know.

The story is set in Damariscotta, where White grew up, and draws from his experience as a high school student working among lobstermen at the South Bristol Fishermen’s Co-op.

“I was surrounded by this world I’d never been around before,” he recalls. “I was kind of in awe of everything they did, how hard they were working.”

Years later, in graduate school and struggling to come up with an idea for a story, White’s thoughts drifted back to Lincoln County. 

What would it take, he wondered, to jump from a lobstering career to a life of wealth and power?

That question drives the story that, after ten years of writing and rewriting, became “The Midcoast,” a tale of a lobsterman who turns to crime to give his wife the life he thinks she deserves.

For Mainers, the title of the novel immediately brings to mind a sense of place, the stretch of communities running roughly from Bath to Belfast. 

At first White didn’t like the title because, when he lived in Damariscotta, the term was one he saw around him virtually every day of his life.

“’Midcoast’ was the name of all these businesses,” he says with a slight smile. “It was sort of mundane in a way. That’s not an interesting, sexy title—to me. But I think for other people there’s a little more intrigue there, and at the end of the day it just felt like the right fit for the novel.”

   

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