Cold as a Dog and Other Stories
The Poetry and Ballads of Ruth Moore
Bestselling author Ruth Moore (1903-1989) not only wrote some of Maine's greatest novels, but was also a talented poet who published three books of poetry and wrote ballads that have become an ingrained part of pop culture along the coast. Her “The Night Charlie Tended Weir” is frequently performed in theaters and at clambakes. Folksinger Gordon Bok recorded an album based on her ballads. Cold as a Dog and Other Stories is a collection of work from a career that stretches for decades and serves to highlight and showcase the remarkable breadth of her writing talent.
Born and raised in the Maine fishing village of Gotts Island, Ruth Moore (1903–1989) emerged as one of the most important Maine authors of the twentieth century, best known for her authentic portrayals of Maine people and her evocative descriptions of the state. In her time, she was favorably compared to Faulkner, Steinbeck, Caldwell, and O’Connor. She graduated from Albany State Teacher’s College and worked at a variety of jobs in New York, Washington, D.C., and California, including as personal secretary to Mary White Ovington, a founder of the NAACP, and at Reader’s Digest. The Weir, her debut novel in 1943, was hailed by critics and established Moore as an important and popular novelist, but her second novel, Spoonhandle soared to great success, spending fourteen weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. The novel was also made into the movie, Deep Waters. The success of Spoonhandle gave her the financial security to build a house in Bass Harbor and spend the rest of her life writing novels in her home state. Ultimately, she wrote fourteen novels. Moore and her partner, Eleanor Mayo, travelled extensively, but never again lived outside of Maine. Moore died in Bar Harbor in 1989, leaving a nearly unmatched literary legacy.