Becoming Bone would not have happened without Annie Boutelle giving a 1995 gallery talk at the Smith College Museum of Art, on the topic of Childe Hassam’s painting White Island Light, Isles of Shoals, at Sundown. The talk led to a study of the relationship between Childe Hassam and Celia Thaxter, and then an academic paper, followed by a plan to write an impressionistic novel based on Thaxter’s life.
Research at various libraries followed, but when Annie sat down to write the novel, it refused to emerge. A poem in Thaxter’s voice appeared, and Annie was launched on the book-length project of Becoming Bone.
The cover image is of Thaxter’s shell necklace, made and worn by Thaxter, and now owned by Harvard University.