The three volumes of the Snow Island trilogy were originally published by MacAdam/Cage in 2002, 2005, and 2010. Hardback copies of the original editions of Snow Island and Evening Ferry are still available in limited quantities. Email for pricing and to arrange for purchase. See below to order a hardback copy of Island Light.
Also available at RiverRun, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and Indiebound.
Snow Island is the story of two strangers who inhabit the same remote island off the New England coast. Sixteen-year-old Alice Daggett still feels the presence of her father who died five years earlier while she shoulders the responsibility for keeping the family store running. George Tibbits, a loner in his forties and the owner of the island's twin houses, returns each year in an act of homage to the women who raised him there. While George struggles to make peace with his troubled past and Alice befriends the twenty-six-year-old who tends the island lighthouse, both characters learn the hard lesson of what it means to love. This tender tale about the power of place and memory plumbs the depths of two unique and uncharted lives. As the country is drawn into World War II, George and Alice find their fates shaped by events that occur far from the small Rhode Island community that defines them.
Praise for Snow Island
Snow Island was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title, a Borders Original Voices title, and an Indiebound selection, the list of recommended titles from independent booksellers across the country.
"Luminous and moving." — The Boston Globe
"An evocative tale... The carefully chosen, and ultimately spare, language of Snow Island belies its quiet emotional wallop." — The Denver Post
"An elegant novel... Katherine Towler creates an engrossing atmosphere that feels true to its time and place." — Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale)
"Towler's characters are as complex and contradictory as those with whom we live our lives... A master of pacing, [she] accomplishes the higher art of bringing us to see the drama in the commonplace." — Donald M. Murray, columnist for The Boston Globe and author of My Twice-Lived Life
"Lovely... This is the perfect novel to curl up with on a winter's night... and then share with a friend." — Ann LaFarge, syndicated reviewer
"Captures the complicated emotions of falling in love for the first time." — The Dallas Morning News
"Slow cooking shows in the plausibility of the story, the vividness of the scenes, the depth of her characters, and the poetry of her language... a really fine novel." — The Portsmouth Herald
"Graceful... Towler's strength is her deft rendering of time and place. Lyrical and gentle, Alice's wartime coming-of-age - and the island itself - continues to resonate after the last page." — Publishers Weekly
"Towler's first novel adeptly personifies loneliness in the self-imposed exile of George Tibbits and the circumstantial solitude of Alice Daggett, both of whom are bonded by a common need for the isolated shores of Snow Island." — Booklist
Also available at RiverRun, Amazon.com, Indiebound, and Barnes & Noble.
Following the success of Snow Island, Katherine Towler returns to the fictional New England island with Evening Ferry — the second installment of the multigenerational trilogy about family bonds, unexpected love, and the threat of war. Thirty-two-year-old Rachel Shattuck grew up on Snow Island but left at the age of eighteen, anxious to escape the confines of the isolated community. Living on the mainland, just a short ferry ride away from Snow, she struggles to adjust to being divorced while grieving the recent death of her mother. In the summer of 1965, she returns to Snow Island to care for her injured father and discovers her mother's diaries hidden in a closet. Reading Phoebe Shattuck's account of her life as a wife and a mother, Rachel learns the truth about her family's history, her mother's death, and her own aspirations to lead a new life. In elegant prose and inspired storytelling, Towler gives us a moving portrait of two women and the island they come to call home, at a time when the world is changing, and the country faces war once again.
Praise for Evening Ferry
Evening Ferry was an Indiebound selection.
"Readers familiar with Snow Island, Katherine Towler's fine first novel, will be further delighted by her return to those hardscrabble New England waterfolk in Evening Ferry: a strong and deeply satisfying tale of the islanders' lives, loves, and losses from the Great Depression of the 1930s to America's war in Vietnam. Readers new to Towler's fiction have a happy discovery awaiting them." — John Barth, author of The Sot-Weed Factor and The Book of Ten Nights and a Night
"[Towler] imagines characters and an island life that feel remarkably real. Inner quandaries over love, sex, memories, dreams and codes of duty are rendered with a light but vivid elegance... by intertwining each era's history and cultural shifts with the stories of individual islanders, Towler is creating a memorable regional trilogy." — The Providence Journal
"When one is held in place by the past, the only way to move life forward is to find a way to break those chains. It is such a journey that Katherine Towler places at the center of Evening Ferry. Evening Ferry succeeds in part because the characters tell an interesting story, but also because of the way the novel takes the reader to a world far removed from present experience." — The Denver Post
"Towler's two books, with their overlapping characters and philosophies, interlock neatly, like pieces of a larger jigsaw already fully imagined... a compelling achievement." — Boston Globe
"Poignant... In a country deeply divided by the Vietnam conflict, Evening Ferry is the calm before the storm." — Curledup.com
"Towler succeeds in bringing the small island community to vivid life... gracefully written." — Publishers Weekly
"Evening Ferry is a moving, human story, and Towler is a powerful, brave new writer." — Hippo Press, Manchester, NH
"Evening Ferry grips readers, beginning to end, with a gradual revealing of hard and sometimes redeeming truths about characters we truly care about." — The Concord Monitor
"The arc of the main characters' lives provide puzzles and also the pieces you need, in the end, to find closure. Evening Ferry has strong characters and surprises. Its sense of place is seductive." — Fosters Daily Democrat
"Evening Ferry offers readers a luminous and deeply moving journey back to the fictional Snow Island, the title of Towler's first book... a rich and satisfying foray into another world." — The Cape Codder
"Towler brings a strong sense of place, exquisite pacing and deft characterization to the quahoggers and others whose isolated lives depend on the sea." — Mystic River Press
Also available at RiverRun, Indiebound, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble.
Nick Daggett, a Vietnam veteran in his early forties, has returned to Snow Island to live year-round and run a pirate radio station from the abandoned mansion. Nora Venable, a lesbian in her seventies and owner of the decaying mansion, comes to the island after a fifty-year absence and decides to stay. Ruth Lambert, a photographer from New York, arrives to see what is left of the old Snow Inn, which she has inherited from her aunt. This unlikely trio finds their lives unexpectedly linked after a fire sweeps through the old mansion. Set in the fall of 1990, as the United States prepares to go to war in the Persian Gulf, the final volume of the Snow Island trilogy brings together characters from the previous volumes with new arrivals in a moving conclusion that completes the saga of island life. This taut tale of love and perseverance evokes the isolation and connection at the heart of every community.
Praise for Island Light
"A lyrical, passionate, nuanced tale of life on the tiny island... Those familiar with the first two volumes will enjoy re-engaging with the island people, and newcomers will find themselves beguiled with Towler's characters and her thoughtful themes of war, isolation and family." - Portsmouth Herald
Also available at RiverRun, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Tupelo Press, and Indiebound.
A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith
With co-editor Ilya Kaminsky
Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler bring together nineteen of America's leading poets
in a collection of conversations about spirituality and the craft of writing. Reflecting on their diverse experiences, writers of various religious backgrounds offer frank, thoughtful consideration of subject matter too often polarized and politicized in our society. Contributors include poets who are Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Pagan, among them Kazim Ali, Jane Hirshfield, Li-Young Lee, Gerald Stern, Carolyn Forché, and the late Grace Paley.
Praise for A God in the House
"An incandescent collection of essays, superbly edited, radiant with wisdom, demonstrating the great truth that all poetry, all art, all human endeavor finds its fulfillment in service to something higher than itself... Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, unaffiliated, non-religious: the contributors... unite in awe before the mystery of being. This is a noble and life-giving book." — Philip Zaleski, editor of the annual Best Spiritual Writing volumes
and co-author of Prayer: A History
"The intimate relationship between poetry and prayer, explored anew in this wide-ranging collection of interviews, animates some of our most vital writing. These poets are wonderful guides to the endlessly changing terrain of spiritual practice... " — Christopher Merrill, author of Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain
Available at Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Amazon, and RiverRun.
Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion
Edited by Karen Bender and Nina de Gramont
Choice attempts to raise the discourse on reproductive choice by posing the question—what is it like to make any sort of reproductive choice? In 22 stunningly honest essays, writers describe their experiences making some of these decisions. Contributors include Francine Prose, Jaquelyn Mitchard, Pam Houston, Carolyn Ferrell, Ann Hood, Deborah Macdowell, and Katherine Towler. The essays in Choice explore the complexities inherent in every reproductive decision, whether it is to choose to have a child or terminate a pregnancy; the guiding philosophy of the book is that this issue is too complex and individual to be legislated. The writers' frank exploration of their experiences humanizes the questions at the heart of reproductive choices.
Praise for Choice
"This collection, compiled by two savvy fiction writers fed up with the bumper-sticker mentality of most pro-life and pro-choice arguments, illuminates the volume of options, obstacles and ambivalence that reproduction brings through personal, often painful stories of real women. Collectively celebrating the courage of the choice—whatever that choice may be—Bender and de Gramont offer these stories as a bulwark against the criminalization of women's reproductive options. Each tale is unique, and politically charged buzz terms (RU-486, Roe V. Wade, etc.) gain new impact nestling alongside these writers' honest quests for basic human needs: love, nurturing, and above all, possibility." — Publishers Weekly
Available at Amazon.com, Indiebound, and Barnes & Noble.
Writers and Their Notebooks
This collection of essays by established professional writers explores how their notebooks serve as their studios and workshops—places to collect, to play, and to make new discoveries with language, passions, and curiosities. For these diverse writers, the journal also serves as an ideal forum to develop their writing voice, whether crafting fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Some entries include sample journal entries that have since developed into published pieces. Through their individual approaches to keeping a notebook, the contributors offer valuable advice, personal recollections, and a hardy endorsement of the value of using notebooks to document, develop, and nurture a writer's creative spark. Designed for writers of all genres and all levels of experience, Writers and Their Notebooks celebrates the journal as a vital tool in a writer's personal and literary life.
Praise for Writers and Their Notebooks
"I salute the editor of this valuable collection, who has done such a sensitive job of gathering these diverse, eloquent, and experienced voices and encouraging their thoughtful, heartbreaking, rambunctious, free flights of testimony and speculation into being. Freedom is a frequent theme in these pages. The freedom to try out things, to write clumsy sentences when no one is looking, to be unfair, immature, even to be stupid. No one can expect to write well who would not first take the risk of writing badly. The writer's notebook is a safe place for such experiments to be undertaken." — Phillip Lopate