Escape from 2020 with Cape Cod creator Sarah Anne Johnson’s ‘The Final Sailor’

Spaces share the author’s ideas and often depend on what is said in the newspaper.

When the world goes crazy, I look for an escape from the books.

Crazier arrives, when I look very far.

And I was drawn to the 19th century this week by Sarah Anne Johnson’s old book “The Last Sailor.” Cape Cod’s most recent post a few days ago.

Settled in the 19th century, and painting the natural beauty of this part of Massachusetts, this is the escape of thought that we all need right now.

“There are no iPhones, laptops, twisted chargers and missing cables,” Johnson told me recently. “For the ‘Last Sailor,’ I want to live to the bone, and 1898 the time when this can happen in human life.”

And Johnson, of Provincetown, is instrumental in capturing the 19th Century Cape Cod.

He also performed magic similar to the “Wife of the Burning Guard,” sitting around the same spot and place. You remember I asked Johnson about the book in 2014. You were writing this book when he fell in love with the Whaling Museum of New Bedford, he told me.

Catch her at your home in SouthCoast, where she sees Zooms via East End Books in Provincetown December 3.

In his recent work, Johnson tells a fascinating story of brotherhood, grief and redemption. According to reviews:

All Nathaniel Boyd wants is to be.

Her hopes for a marriage were dashed years ago, soon after the sea took her last brother. He may have dumped himself in the swamps of Cape Cod – Cape does not blame him for the accident.

Meanwhile, his brother, Finn, is heavily involved in the fish trade, in an attempt to prove his point. As the brothers boarded a ferry from Boston to their village, they were met by Rachel, a young girl who had run away. After disembarking and about to sink, Boyd’s boys take Rachel to a nearby house — the one that Nathaniel loves most, Meredith.

As Rachel’s recovery brings Nathaniel back to Meredith’s world, and the death occurs, there will be no similarities.

Sarah Anne Johnson

If you like the idea of ​​finding beauty in the meadows, Delia Owens’ Where A Crawdads Sing, ” sign up.

Also, I love that this book was inspired by one of my favorite writers, Mr. Cormac McCarthy. He writes to be private and isolated if there is no English writer in the world.

“I came across the first installment of ‘The Last Sailor’ as I was reading Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Suttree’, which begins with an individual paddling the river. There was something about the water and the isolation and isolation that really touched me, ”Johnson said.

“I grew up on the other side of the road from the salt marshes at Yarmouth Port, and as a kid I used to play there with my friends. I always loved living in the mud on the edge of town,” he said. a great place there. “


I had a lot of questions for Johnson.

Daley: “The Last Driver” is about the same time as the settlement of “Wife of the Superintendent.” What draws you to the 19th century Cape Cod?

Johnson: I like the simplicity of the 19th century. In some ways it is easier to write about the time because there are no electronic and cultural interference that those issues affect the public interest, presence, cultural groups, and privacy. In other words, the old adage is true: life was simple at the time.

I am also fascinated by the history of that time in Cape Cod. I grew up in a family that loved maritime history, art, and art. I’ve been in boats since I could breathe. The memory of a child can be powerful and unpredictable, and the details of my life experience for me.

Daley: As you write about the Cape, it is clear that you are inspired by it.

Johnson: I like living in Provincetown. Silence during breaks is good, and it is good to write. There is a very good team. Nature is in the air where we breathe. Herring Cove Beach – especially on the low waves where my dog ​​can run on rocks; walking through the Beech Forest, and through winding roads through mounds.

The swamps at the end of Wharf Lane, where I grew up promoted the “Last Walking on the Sea.” It’s fun. I can’t believe I grew up in a place surrounded by such beauty.

Daley: Tell me about your relationship with this place.

Johnson: I grew up in Yarmouth Port, went to DY Regional High School, and then went to college in Boston. After a short walk of over 20 years, I moved to the Outer Cape, where I have been for about 25 years. I have moved here to live a life of writing, and to be alone and very quiet we go into the summer.

Daley: He said that in the “Wife of the Fire Brigade,” you had pictures that encouraged the story – a picture of Hannah in a boat sailing on the waves. Did anyone sponsor this book?

Johnson: The most interesting picture in the book was Nathaniel walking through the night into the island, alone, and the picture of him sitting in his house is his grief and personal weight. I could just hear him right away, the only sound of his breath falling silent.

Daley: You’ve done a few more interview questions. What would you ask yourself if you were asked? How would you answer?

Johnson: I might ask: “What books are in your midst right now?” Right now I’m reading notes, which I’ve never done before. I read Joan Didion’s essays, “To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction,” by Phillip Lopate, “The Wanting Was A Wilderness” by Alden Jones, and “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” by Alexander Chee . I learn a lot from writing by reading this, their language, their details, and their discussions on skills.

Daley: How have you been coping?

Johnson: I don’t know if I’m enduring it. It is very difficult for everyone. I read for a few hours each night. Now that it’s dawn, I fall asleep very fast and read for five hours. I write on the weekends. In the middle of the week, I work during the day and it’s hard to shift gears into fictional language, but reading makes me connect with the work. I write frequently on the margins and write notes that I study and where they can get me to the book I’m working on – I don’t want to say too much for a new one, but I’m really excited.

Questions have been edited and edited.

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Lauren Daley is a freelance writer and freelance writer. Contact him at [email protected] Follow her on She tweets @ laurendaley1.

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