In the list of renowned Maine writers, Ruth Moore sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. A Brunswick bookstore owner is hoping to change that.

The Loose Ladies Book Club in Bowdoinham is hosting poet and co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books Gary Lawless to speak about Maine author Ruth Moore at 1 p.m. Thursday at Merrymeeting Hall.

Maine author Ruth Moore’s novels about coastal Mainers — bestsellers in her time — were recently brought back into print by Gary Lawless of Gulf of Maine Books and Islandport Press. Courtesy photo

Moore (1903–1989), a native of Great Gott’s — a tiny island neighboring Mount Desert — wrote 14 novels and abundant essays, poetry and short fiction over her lifetime, including for The New Yorker. “Spoonhandle,” her best-known book, spent 14 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller list in 1946 and was adapted into a movie. Her work centers on the lives of coastal Mainers — their gossip, gall and generosity of spirit.

Lawless, who co-owns Brunswick’s Gulf of Maine Books with his wife, has published nine of Moore’s books through his own small press, Blackberry Books, alongside his work as a poet and small-business owner.

“Bringing Ruth’s books back into print was one of my life achievements,” Lawless said. “I always love to promote Ruth’s works because I think she’s one of the great Maine authors and people ought to read her work.”

Islandport Press in Yarmouth has taken up the mantle of publishing Ruth Moore. This spring, they republished Moore’s “The Walk Down Main Street,” following the publication and redesign of seven other books since their publication of “Spoonhandle” in 2020.

Lawless will be speaking about Ruth Moore’s work on Thursday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Loose Ladies Book Club in partnership with the Bowdoinham Public Library.

The book club, which started with five female members, has now grown to 40 men and women. Earlier this year, the group opened its meeting to the public and hosted 1956 USA Gold Medalist Rower Bill Becklean, who spoke about “The Boys in the Boat.”

“The group is an eclectic bunch interested in many genres and able to have a great discussion on anything,” said longtime member Joanne Savoie. “It is also a great group for keeping the book club vibrant. It is quite the easy matter to put on programs as all jobs get filled in a matter of minutes.”

Gary Lawless and Beth Leonard, co-owners of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick. Courtesy photo

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