Meet the Author: Alyssa East

Meet the Author: Alyssa East

on Dogtown Aura and Murder

Author Alyssa East will discuss new book, ‘Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town,’ on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the Brenner Friends Room.

Dogtown’whose lore includes tales of witches, supernatural sightings, pirates, former slaves, drifters, dogs of Revolutionary War widows, and the carved boulders that dot the area’was the eerie back-drop to the 1984 murder of a young woman walking through its woods. In alternating chapters, the author interlaces the story of the murder with the dark history of Dogtown and explores the possibility that certain landscapes wield their own unique power.

East became interested in the area. As an art student in the early 1990s, she fell in love with Marsden Hartley’s stark Dogtown landscapes. Learning that in the 1930s Dogtown saved Hartley from a paralyzing depression, she set out to find the mysterious setting that had changed his life, hoping that she too would find solace and renewal there. What she found was a landscape steeped in intrigue to which some people feel drawn but which other people avoid. East takes the reader into a unique place filled with tragedy and eccentricity and examines the idea that some places can inspire both good and evil, poetry and murder.

This is the latest event in the Meet the Author series, which is sponsored by the library, Toad Hall Bookstore, and the Friends of the Rockport Library.