Tuesday, June 16, 2015

P. D. Callahan

In 1972, P. D. Callahan drove to Maine to visit a friend. Ten years later he was still there working on the water, winter and summer, as a commercial herring fisherman. Callahan’s crazy unplanned career is the subject of his new memoir, DOOR IN DARK WATER, the story of the people he loved, their collective moments of terror and temporary stardom, and a culture long since lost.

What are your ties to Maine or the Boothbay Peninsula?

One of the principal characters in my book, Door in Dark Water, is a fisherman named Henry Jones who grew up on Damariscove Island and in Boothbay. The book takes place in South Bristol, Maine, a village of 500 people just across the river from East Boothbay. I lived in South Bristol for ten years and still have strong ties to the community.

What are the most important themes in your work?

The most important theme has to do with coming of age in a harsh and often deadly environment--the winter sea. No one can survive the intense struggle of fishing in the North Atlantic without the strong support and love of a community like the one in South Bristol. I didn't expect to find the acceptance I received when I walked into that life, but it changed my life and I have never found it anywhere else in my travels.

What do you hope readers will discover in your latest book?

I hope readers come to understand what it means to be in love with a dream that is impossibly difficult, and then understand what it takes to move on when you need to give it up.

Come explore Maine authors at Books in Boothbay on Saturday, July 11! We promise -- it will be memorable!

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