Howard Frank Mosher

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Howard Frank Mosher, from his website.

Howard Frank Mosher (June 2, 1942 – January 29, 2017) was an American author of thirteen books: eleven fiction and two non-fiction. Much of his fiction takes place in the mid-20th century and all of it is set in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, a region loosely defined by the three counties in the northeastern corner of the state (Essex, Orleans, and Caledonia). His characters are often quirky, reflecting the distinctive peculiarities of the region's taciturn residents. The community struggle with changing times is often a theme, with the more traditional ways of rural Yankee life coming in conflict with an expanding, modern society. The last novel published during his lifetime was God's Kingdom (St. Martin's Press, October 2015).

Personal life[edit]

Originally from the Catskill Mountain region of New York, Mosher graduated from Cato-Meridian Central School, in Cato, New York, in 1960 and graduated from Syracuse University in 1964.[1] He taught English at Orleans High and Lake Region Union High School during his early years.

Mosher lived with his wife, Phillis, in Irasburg, Vermont. They had a grown son and a daughter. He was a die-hard Red Sox fan,[2] and this was a recurring element in his work. Mosher often developed a fictional character (usually still in boyhood) who would become obsessed with the fate of the Red Sox.


In December 2016, Mosher was ill with what he believed to be an upper respiratory ailment. He was soon diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, induced from treatment of prostate cancer in 2007. Mosher announced his latest cancer via his Facebook page. He died at home on January 29, 2017, at age 74.[3]


Mosher was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1979, and is the 1981 recipient of the Literature Award bestowed by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.[4] A Stranger In the Kingdom won the New England Book Award for Fiction in 1991,[5] and was later filmed by director Jay Craven. Craven has also adapted Disappearances, Where the Rivers Flow North and Northern Borders to film.[6] In 2006, Mosher received the Vermont Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.[7] In 2011 he was awarded the New England Independent Booksellers Association's President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.[5]


His books, in order of publication, are:

  1. Disappearances (1977)
  2. Where the Rivers Flow North (1978)
  3. Marie Blythe (1983)
  4. A Stranger in the Kingdom (1989)
  5. Northern Borders (1994)
  6. North Country (nonfiction, 1997)
  7. The Fall of the Year (1999)
  8. The True Account (2003)
  9. Waiting for Teddy Williams (2004)
  10. On Kingdom Mountain (2007)
  11. Walking to Gatlinburg (2010)
  12. The Great Northern Express (nonfiction, 2012)
  13. God's Kingdom (2015)
  14. Points North: Stories (2018)


  1. ^ Pollak, Sally (2017-12-20). "Phillis Mosher Talks About Her Husband's Final Novel". Seven Days. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  2. ^ Davis, Mark (2017-01-29). "A Reporter's Fond Remembrance of Howard Frank Mosher, 1942-2017". Seven Days. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  3. ^ Zind, Steve (January 29, 2017). "Howard Frank Mosher, Who Reimagined The Northeast Kingdom, Dies". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Fellows Finder: Howard Frank Mosher Archived 2014-03-23 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b "New England Book Awards – NEIBA". Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  6. ^ Hallenbeck, Brent (2017-02-01). "Craven, DeWees to screen, discuss Mosher films in Stowe". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  7. ^ Occaso, Carla (April 2006). Irasburg Author Howard Frank Mosher Inspired by Wild Surroundings. Northland Journal.

External links[edit]