For newcomers to Barbara’s story, my biography is a good place to start.
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my second book for Barbara, who was my mother’s half-sister—my “half-aunt.” Lost Island (plus three stories and an afterword) is out now on Farksolia in hardcover w/dust jacket, paperback, and ebook formats.
It’s on Amazon. But it’s not only on the Amazon network: it’s available globally and I encourage libraries and brick & mortar shops to order copies.
Some of Barbara’s best writing is contained within, not only her brilliant and timely Lost Island (with its main characters based on the author’s life and that of a sailor she met at sea in 1929, Edward Anderson) but three autobiographical stories:
Rocks, a hair-raising rope climb through Katahdin’s Chimney and solo walk on a windswept Knife-Edge;
Travels Without a Donkey, Barbara’s “pride and joy”—Barbara and Nickerson Rogers walking and canoeing from Katahdin to the Maine border in 1932, semi-following the not-yet-cut Appalachian Trail; and
Walking the Mallorcan Coast, a log of the couple’s backpacking on the Spanish island in 1933.
From my perspective, Lost Island is as relevant today as it was in the 1930s. To put it crudely, Barbara’s lost island is a metaphor for our lost world—one that’s being destroyed by homo sapiens. It’s about preserving beauty within oneself despite external forces that don’t care a whit about beauty; about a couple estranged from the modern world that’s speeding pell mell toward an ever-increasing profit margin, whatever the cost to the human spirit.
I spent quite a long time writing my afterword and am, for the moment at least, happy with it. It includes much information that’s come to light since A Life in Letters, including Anderson’s fate and the discovery in 1948 of a young woman’s bones in the woods of New Hampshire, near Squam Lake. They had been there about ten years . . . and matched Barbara’s age and height.
My first book was Barbara Newhall Follett: A Life in Letters (Farksolia, 2015). I’ve been immersed in Barbara’s life and letters since I spent several days with her archive at Columbia University in January and March 2012.
To celebrate publication of Lost Island I’ve made a much needed update to the Farksolia website. I’ll have more time to add new things now that my book project is over.
Thank you for your interest in Barbara and I hope you enjoy the website!