Local Girl Swept Away
My newest novel is the story of four teens in Provincetown, Massachusetts who love each other and lose each other over and over. Here’s the dramatic trailer my son, Morgan Pritchard, made for the book.
Reading/signing at Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA, August 5, 7 p.m.
Reading/signing with Jeannine Atkins and Jo Knowles at the Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA, September 27 @ 6:30.
A new edition of Parrotfish is now available!
Parrotfish was written in 2005 and published in 2007, but in those ten years, there have been changes in the language used to talk about transgender people. So Parrotfish needed an updated edition and this is it! There is also a completely updated resources section at the back of the book.
What others have said about my books:
“Ellen Wittlinger’s Hard Love was one of the books that inspired me to write young adult novels.” – John Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
About Parrotfish: “I loved this book. It is tender, warm, sweet, funny, authentic, and completely captivating.” –Julie Ann Peters, National Book Award finalist for Luna
“What a great book! I love Parrotfish and think it’s very much a book whose time has come.” –Nancy Garden, author of the classic Annie on my Mind
About Love & Lies: “A wonderful book. Smart, funny, always involving and often moving, this is a young adult novel but more adult in its wisdom than many grown-up tales. I’ve been recommending it to everyone, regardless of age.”– Christopher Bram, author of The Notorious Dr. August
“Hard Love is hip and compelling. This gutsy book remind us that in love and friendship, often there are no easy answers. Ellen Wittlinger’s masterstroke is that she makes us rejoice in a difficult, but honest, resolution.” – Rob Thomas, author of Rats Saw God.
What I’ve Been Thinking About Lately:
Local Girl Swept Away is the fourth novel I’ve set (at least partially) in Provincetown. To say that the place inspires me would be an understatement. In fact, the photo across the top of this page is one of hundreds I’ve taken of my favorite town. I lived in P’town (as the locals call it) for three years in the mid-70’s and I go back every year for as long as I can in order to reinvigorate myself with the spirit of the place.
To get to Provincetown, you have to cross one of two bridges between mainland Massachusetts and the long, skinny peninsula of Cape Cod. Then you drive north—more than an hour from the Sagamore Bridge, which is the one I usually take. The trees turn scrubby and the earth becomes mostly sand the farther you drive. As you come over the hill in North Truro, you can see the final curve of land that is Provincetown lying before you, sticking out fearlessly into the Atlantic Ocean, the tall, Italianate tower of the Pilgrim Monument a kind of lighthouse for weary travelers.
Sand dunes line Route 6, the main highway, but if you take 6A, the bayside road, you pass rows of tiny, weathered, identical cottages, the sun blazing behind them as it falls into Cape Cod Bay. In the off-season the cottages are deserted, but the ghosts of summer haunt them. Even before you’ve met one person, you know this is a different kind of place than the ones you’re used to. Stark, uncompromising, seductive, beautiful.
The same words could be used to describe the inhabitants. Fishing boats rock in the harbor, and though the fleet is smaller than it once was, it carries on the traditions of the Portuguese fishermen who settled the town and still live there. Provincetown is also a haven for artists and writers who have been drawn to this outpost for a century, valuing both its beauty and its isolation. The third group of people who make P’town unique is the LGBT community. Accepted here long before they were in most parts of the country, gays, lesbians and trans people have long been woven into the fabric of Provincetown life.
In the summer, of course, the streets become overrun with tourists, restaurants dole out lobsters and clam chowder around the clock, shops do a brisk business in t-shirts and souvenirs, entertainers hawk shows wearing wigs and five-inch heels. It’s a three-month carnival. But when cooler weather arrives, the community settles back into itself. Boats tuck into their docks, stores close for the season, and the marsh grass turns rusty red.
This is when I love P’town best. I put the town into my books because it’s become a part of me over the years and I like sharing it with others. I want my readers to know what it feels like to walk the narrow streets, smell the fishy air, watch the clouds billow over the old clapboard houses, then scud out over the ocean. If you’d like to read about Provincetown (and its neighbor, Truro) check out my new book, Local Girl Swept Away (out in May 2016) or Hard Love, Love & Lies, and Razzle.