International Intrigue? Here's Your Woman
Isabella Carrillo

The breeze danced across the sails of many boats tied in the Menemsha Sound but it seemed barely to sway the majestic 70-foot frame of the Relemar. Entering the yacht’s living room to shake hands with a tall, poised and enthusiastic brunette, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you have taken a step into Kitty Pilgrim’s debut novel, The Explorer’s Code.

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Amor Towles: Literary Ascent Begins in West Chop
Kate Feiffer

Edward Dillon doesn’t exist. Longtime readers of the Vineyard Gazette may recall reading about Mr. Dillon’s antics in the West Chop column during the summer of 1977. The column, written by then 12-year-old Amor Towles, reported the comings and goings within the close-knit community. Yet unbeknownst to most readers, the man by the name of Edward Dillon, mentioned in columns throughout the summer, was fictional.

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Inky Nights: Mysterious Squid Are Subject of Study by Scientist
Peter Brannen

Before probing the outer reaches of our galaxy, alien hunters would be well-advised to turn their telescopes around, training them on Earth’s own cephalopods instead. The group of animals includes squid, octopus, cuttlefish and nautiluses and were seemingly jury-rigged by evolution, armed with suction cups, beaks, ink, jet propulsion, camouflage and an intelligence entirely unlike our own.

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Sharks Meet Their Enemy and It Is Us
Peter Brannen

Every jittery Vineyard beachgoer is familiar with the iconic image of the restless great white patrolling the shallows, mouth agape, in search of a fleshy excuse to close it. Stacks of shark books celebrating the more lurid aspects of their behavior, particularly their extremely rare propensity to attack humans, already fill library shelves, but in Demon Fish, Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin makes the case that the more fearsome animal is in the mirror.

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As Mr. Collins Said, With a Modest Chuckle
Tatiana Schlossberg

The poem begins with the routine event of chopping parsley, a serious and yet absurd musing on a nursery rhyme known to all — three blind mice — and quickly spins into a quiet meditation on the sneaking cynicism that prevents us from feeling, and then, in shame, makes us feel all the more.

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Like Father, Like Daughter: Alexandra Styron Flexes Her Muscle in Memoir
Tatiana Schlossberg

“I really did spend my entire childhood watching television,” says Alexandra Styron, a claim that stands in stark contrast to her endlessly expansive vocabulary and carefully crafted storytelling.

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Shakespeare Seen in San Francisco
Nicole Galland

Chris Adrian is a fellow in pediatric hematology-oncology. He is also a recent graduate of the Harvard Divinity School. So he’s well-versed in tragic loss and grief, as well as the more abstract issues of immortality and the meaning of life. In his newest novel, The Great Night, he mixes all of these ingredients together and bakes them in an oven fueled by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The result is an exquisitely heart-breaking novel, sprinkled with dark comedy, whimsy and sex.

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Boxing Shadows of a Violent Youth
Nina Tarnawsky

We often want to know more about our favorite authors. After investing hundreds of pages of time in their created worlds, we feel entitled to know more about what they’re like in our shared world. It’s the root of our fascination with Hemingway’s boxing and Faulkner’s drinking, with Greene’s Catholicism and Salinger’s reclusiveness. We want to know more, but rarely do we get our wish. However, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who shares more than Andre Dubus 3rd.

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Composting a Back-to-the-Land Past
Margaret Knight

In the early 1970s, when the tide of summer residents would go out in September, there were always young people who didn’t want to leave the Vineyard — and they didn’t have to, because there was no particular place they planned to go. Land was still relatively affordable, or their families had land, and they built themselves homes back in the woods, had kids, a few animals and a garden, and patched together a living with the usual Vineyard hodgepodge of work or self-employment.

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