Away Happens

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University Press of New England, Mar 21, 2005 - Humor - 160 pages
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"Several years ago it was revealed to me that creative nonfiction was a legitimate literary genre," writes Phil Crossman. "It was the most liberating experience of my life. All these years I thought I'd been simply lying." Crossman is a humorist in the Mark Twain mold: wry, satiric, and keenly aware of the shortcomings of human beings, but with a leavening of self-deprecation and underlying sympathy. Though rooted in a regional consciousness (coastal Maine), his humor succeeds in making the local universal. Away Happens considers daily life on an island in Penobscot Bay that supports both a tight-knit local community and a larger seasonal population. Whether he is recounting a debate that happened at the Lions Club over who counts as a "local" or describing his adventures getting the Thanksgiving turkey into the oven, ruminating on how the ferry schedule shapes island life or recalling a local crime spree, Crossman is funny, unsentimental, and authentically Maine. "There are only two places, Here, this island off the coast of Maine, and Away. Here, this place, is a small place and Away, everywhere else, is a big place, but make no mistake about it, Here is Here and Away is not. 1276 people live Here. Billions more live Away than live Here, although increasingly, during the summer, it seems otherwise." —From the Book
 

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Contents

An Island Morning
1
Dog Town
13
Spreading Joy
20
Shades of200026
26
Midlife Crunch
34
Two Strings Attached
40
Speedy Delivery
59
Passing the Peace
81
The Wedding Planner
90
Exploring the Westkeag Estuary with a White Owl
109
Ask Not What Your Government Can Do For You
118
The Great American Duck Race
127
Mainland Security
139
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

PHIL CROSSMAN is the owner of the Tidewater Motel on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. He writes a column for "Working Waterfront," published by the Island Institute in Rockland, Maine. He has also published in The Maine Times, Down East, and Yankee.

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