Maine is an undeniably bookish state, and I've often wondered why that is. When you think about it, the size of our literary reputation is all out of proportion to our modest populace. It goes well beyond the famous authors we first encountered in junior high school. I'm talking about the whole literary shebang — the bookstores and reading groups and vast hosts of library volunteers. You cannot step onto the street here without stumbling over an accomplished author, and as someone who appreciates good writing, I'm pleased that's the case.
One might as easily focus on the many dissimilarities between Richard Russo's The Whore's Child and Other Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York; hardcover; 225 pages; $24) and