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Ruth Moore

“It is doubtful if any American writer has ever done a better job of communicating a people, their talk, their thoughts, their geography, and their way of life.” 

The New York Times

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We are pleased to officially launch the first Ruth Moore-focused website to celebrate and promote one of Maine's best and most influential authors of the twentieth century. Moore, born and raised on Gott's Island, mined her heritage, upbringing, and love of her home state to build the foundation and establish the soul of her novels. She used the small details of life and an innate understanding of the people she knew so intimately to not only present a way of life, but build universal stories that resonate regardless of location—a "regional" novelist, like Steinbeck or Faulkner, in the best sense of the term.


On this site, you can read about her life, buy her books, learn what others say about her work, catch up on the latest news, and more.  We hope in these pages you find some inspiration. That said, this site remains a work in progress. We will continue to edit, refine, and build it out, so if you have any ideas, please drop us a line.

Happy Reading!



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“Ruth Moore is a Maine native with roots sunk deep in the granite and a writer whose innate sense of people and place combined with a finely-honed writing brilliance to give voice to a time and place and produce twentieth-century novels that tell universal stories with a unique soul. Although decades apart, I grew up on the same ancient shores and on the same unforgiving waters as Ruth so I'm thrilled that Islandport is helping revive and promote Moore’s body of work. Her novels stand as pillars of the Maine literary canon and should be fully recognized as such."

—Dean L. Lunt, Editor-in-Chief, Islandport Press

Ruth Moore

Born in a tiny island fishing village, Ruth Moore worked in New York, Washington D.C. and California before returning to Maine where she established herself as one of the most important regional novelists of the twentieth century. The notoriously shy Moore, who famously shunned Hollywood, in favor of authenticity, undeniably stands as one of Maine's most iconic and important literary figures. 

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Ruth Moore-Eleanor Mayo Collection

Ruth Moore 

She went from attending a one-room island school to attending college in New York, from working as a secretary in Manhattan to investigating crimes for the NAACP and from managing a Californian fruit farm to writing a best-selling novel that became a Hollywood movie. And then she settled into a semi-reclusive life writing novels on the shores of Frenchman Bay. Follow the timeline of Ruth's life.


Tremont Historical Society

The Works of Ruth Moore

Starting with her debut novel The Weir, followed by her best-selling second novel, Spoonhandle, to the posthumously published collection of Poems, The Tired Apple Tree, Ruth Moore left a remarkable literary legacy that spanned nearly five decades.​ See her complete catalog here and find details about the books that are still available for purchase and the books Islandport has slated for reprint in the future. 



Starting with her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Weir, Ruth Moore was often a darling of literary critics even though she famously shunned publicity and turned her back on Hollywood.

Read reviews of all her novels.


Book Clubs

Ruth Moore's novels are perfect for book clubs, community reads, and other literary events. Islandport Press offers bulk discounts and special reader's guide questions to all the books it is reissuing. Contact Islandport with any questions.

"That was the place you were homesick for, even when you were there."

Ruth Moore's Homeland

Ruth Moore's upbringing in the tiny fishing village of Gott's Island in Blue Hill Bay and the heritage of her ancestors formed the bone on which Moore would carve nearly all her novels. Learn more about the island and the bay that influenced her life's work.


Flotsam & Jetsam

We are building an online collection of cool and interesting things we find about Ruth. Please help us! If you find something, whether an image or memorabilia, please drop us a note and maybe we will add it.


Check back here often, because we hope to regularly post new stuff. (And, yes, we know all this is not technically "flotsam and jetsam," but we really like the sound of the names.)


  Read the latest news and learn about upcoming events.


Love Ruth Moore books? Please send us your thoughts or a short review and we may post it on our feedback page.


Links to online information and research about Ruth Moore and her work.


Have Questions?

Use this form to ask us about all things Ruth.

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