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Allagash author Cathie Pelletier takes on non-fiction with two new books

ALLAGASH, Maine — An award winning Allagash author whose works of fiction have been successfully adapted into television movies proved she can write just about anything when she recently co-authored two non-fiction books, including a heavy and intellectual study in science and the memoir of her friend, Louisiana musician Doug Kershaw. 

Cathie Pelletier, the author famous for writing the popular books “Candles on Bay Street” and “The Funeral Makers,” among many other works of fiction, has taken her craft to a new level as co-author of two recently published non-fiction books — “Proving Einstein Right: The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe” with S. James Gates, and “The Ragin’ Cajun” with fiddler Doug Kershaw.

“They are as different as books can be. The memoir is what I hope readers will consider much more than a typical celebrity memoir. Working closely with Doug Kershaw for what turned out to be years, I hope the structure of the book follows a more novelistic tone and that the reader discovers a deeper development than a typical celebrity life story,” Pelletier said.

Pelletier lives for the most part in the Allagash home in which she was born. While there, she often enjoys the company of her husband Tom Viorikic and the couple’s three cats, although she prefers to spend much of her time writing in isolation. 

After living throughout the United States and Canada for most of her adult life, Pelletier returned to Allagash nearly 10 years ago to spend time with her elderly father who has since passed. 

“I came back thinking I’d find a place downstate close enough to drive home a couple times a month and stay with my father. I ended up just staying, which we hadn’t planned. So I’ve been back almost a decade now which seems astonishing that that much time has already passed, that many autumns coming and going, that many winters, that many springs to watch the migrating birds return, that many falls to watch them leave again,” Pelletier said.

When she is not home in Allagash, Pelletier spends her time traveling, including a recent visit to Brown University where she gave a talk and reading with Gates, a theoretical physicist and recipient of the 2011 National Medal of Science

Pelletier remains focused on her craft and is already looking ahead to new writing challenges, including new non-fiction works as well as a return to her beloved world of Mattagash, in which many of her novels are set..

Pelletier and Gates will participate in joint book signing events 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at Books a Million in Bangor and 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Barnes and Noble in Augusta.

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