GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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November 6, 2012

'Lobster Mafia' author at Sawyer Library Thursday

Prize-winning author Anna Solomon will return to her hometown of Gloucester Thursday to discuss her short story “The Lobster Mafia Story,” which was inspired by her youth here.

Her appearance at the Sawyer Free Library Thursday at 7 p.m. will conclude a series of discussions sponsored by the Boston Book Festival. “The Lobster Mafia Story” was chosen as the festival’s 2012 “One City, One Story” selection. Thousands of copies of the story were distributed throughout the city of Boston and discussion groups were held at a variety of Boston sites.

The goal of the Boston Book Festival’s “One City One Story” is to create a community around a shared reading experience. The response of readers to the experience reveal how a story changes as a variety of readers bring their own experiences to it. The experience is an especially unique one for the author of the story chosen, as that author watches and listens to an entire city read and discuss the writing.

Solomon said the experience was overwhelming for her and she was “amazed by the depth of their analysis, by how closely they’d read the story and how much they’d thought about it.” The author said she found herself thinking about the story in ways she had not before.

Although she now lives in Providence, Solomon took the inspiration for her Pushcart Prize-winning short story from her Gloucester upbringing. She grew up in West Gloucester off Concord Street where she spent a lot of time playing in the woods, on the rocks and in the marsh at low tide.

She feels that her writer’s imagination grew out of the time she spent “watching lobster boats go by, seeing clammers out on the sand bar, singing to snails.”

“The Lobster Mafia Story” is about a Gloucester woman dealing with a past crime. But it is also about insiders and outsiders and the lines people draw between those who are native to the place and those who come from elsewhere.

In anticipation of her Thursday appearance, free copies of “The Lobster Mafia Story” are available at the circulation desk at Sawyer Free Library or may be downloaded from her website at annasolomon.com.

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