Paul Doiron is the editor in chief of Down East: The Magazine of Maine, Down East Books, and DownEast.com. A native of Maine, he attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English, and he holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He's also a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and outdoor recreation and lives on a trout stream in the coastal part of the state.
Paul is author of the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels, including The Poacher's Son, which won the the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel and has been nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, A Macavity Award, and a Thriller Award for Best First Novel. His second book in the Mike Bowditch series, Trespasser, was an American Booksellers Association Indie Bestseller and has been called a "masterpiece of high-octane narrative" by Booklist. The third Mike Bowditch installment, Bad Little Falls, will be published in August 2012 by Minotaur.
For his holiday offering, Paul passed along a great, and unusual read:
My Christmas recommendation is on the dark side, which I suppose is fitting given my occupation. It's "The Ledge": a horrifying short story written in 1959 by Lawrence Sargent Hall, based on actual events. A Maine fisherman takes his son and another boy duck hunting at sea on a bitter Christmas morning. They pull their skiff onto an offshore ledge that is normally underwater at high tide. After they have finished shooting for the morning, they discover that their skiff has floated away...and the tide is rising. I won't reveal what happens, but there's a reason John Updike included "The Ledge" in the collection he edited, The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Like Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," it's one of those stories you read once and never forget. (Here's a link to Hall reading the story.)
In the spirit of the story, I'd ask that readers consider supporting the important conservation work of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.