Author Anita Shreve, a longtime Maine summer resident whose new novel is based in Maine, has canceled her current book tour because of illness.

Shreve, 70, posted on her Facebook page Thursday that a “medical emergency” was forcing her to cancel the tour to promote her new novel, “The Stars Are Fire.” The novel, set in a coastal Maine town during the devastating wildfires of 1947, went on sale Tuesday.

Shreve wrote that she would be undergoing chemotherapy this spring but did not give more details of her illness. She said she hoped to see readers on subsequent tours, and said it would be “a thrill” for her to hear from readers while she is recovering.

“Please write and post and let me know what you think of ‘The Stars Are Fire,’ a novel that is dear to my heart, and which I had so looked forward to talking to you about in person,” Shreve wrote on Facebook. “I hope reading it will bring you as much pleasure as writing it brought me.”

Shreve, who has spent summers in the Biddeford Pool area for about 20 years, lives year-round in Newfields, New Hampshire. On her book tour, she had been scheduled to give a talk Wednesday at the Maine Historical Society in Portland, organized by Print: A Bookstore. Other tour stops that had been scheduled for Maine and nearby included May 2 at the Camden Public Library, May 3 at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and July 11 at Water Street Books in Exeter, New Hampshire. The last scheduled event on the tour was to be at the Biddeford Pool Writers Series on July 27.

Originally from Dedham, Massachusetts, Shreve has written 18 novels since 1989, and her books have sold 6 million copies. Her 1998 novel “The Pilot’s Wife” was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and became an international best-seller, later being made into a TV movie on CBS. Her 1997 novel “The Weight of Water” was made into a film starring Sean Penn and Elizabeth Hurley, and released in theaters.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 210-1183 or at:

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