The Country of Pointed Firs

Sarah Orne Jewett

A nameless female writer has come to Dunnet Landing, a small town on the coast of Maine, for the summer in order to finish her manuscript.

Once there, she finds herself absorbed in the rhythms of daily life, which come at a much-altered pace than the city she’s left behind. Her observations of the residents of Dunnet Landing—their loves, their fights, their occupation with sky and sea and land, their tall tales, and their quiet secrets—comprise The Country of the Pointed Firs. It is a novel made seemingly from the very fabric of community. Jewett’s beautiful, delicate descriptions and her wonderfully natural dialogue bring the whole town and its many inhabitants to life. 

Once described by Henry James as Jewett’s “beautiful little quantum of achievement,” 
The Country of the Pointed Firs is a stunning testament to the power of place and memory.

Smith & Taylor Classics is an imprint of Unnamed Press, combining Unnamed’s mission to uplift the unlikely and unexpected from around the world with editors Allison Miriam Smith and Brandon Taylor’s shared love of classic literature. S&T seeks to reintroduce titles that pushed the boundaries of their time, and whose themes continue to resonate today. Featuring both celebrated and lesser-known authors from the past, S&T’s list compliments the Unnamed list of bold contemporary voices. 

Rather than introductions, each edition will feature a conversation between two esteemed readers (established writers, critics, satirists, academics) debuting with imprint editors Allison and Brandon’s own discussion around the oft-overlooked classic by Edith Wharton, Twilight Sleep. In contrast to other classics lines, S&T’s approach will not be one of taste-making or “discovery,” but rather engagement— re-introducing books and their authors to the discourse at large and inviting contemporary voices active in the discourse to join us in the conversation. In recent years, readers have increasingly turned to classics and rediscovered titles both as an escape and as a means of making sense of a complex and fraught world. We believe classics are for everyone, and by revitalizing conver­sations around these novels we hope our readers find themselves in stories that might have otherwise been overlooked.