John Gould (columnist)

John Gould (columnist)

John Thomas Gould (October 22, 1908September 1, 2003) was an American humorist, essayist, and columnist who wrote a column for the "Christian Science Monitor" for over sixty years from a farm in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He was published in most major American newspapers and magazines and wrote thirty books.

Gould was born in Brighton, Massachusetts to Franklin Farrar Gould and Hilda Dobson Jenkins. After his birth the family moved to Medford, Massachusetts. When Gould was ten years old his family, which then included three children, moved to Freeport, Maine. Gould was responsible for farm chores before and after school, but his father stressed the importance of his education. His family subscribed to "The Youth's Companion", the "Rural New Yorker" and "The Boston Post", all of which published materials submitted by the young writer.

In 1924, while Gould was a sophomore in high school, he offered to be a reporter for the "Brunswick Record", and following an encouraging reply from the editor, began submitting news items and was thus gainfully employed with the "Record" until 1940. He was also writing as a stringer for other newspapers and as a result became a featured writer for the "Boston Sunday Post".

After having graduated from Bowdoin College in 1931, on his 24th birthday (October 22, 1932) he married Dorothy Florence Wells of Arlington, Massachusetts. After their honeymoon they made their home in Brunswick, Maine, where Gould resumed writing for the "Brunswick Record" and his wife became the newspaper's household editor. A few years later, John and Dorothy were able to purchase the Gould family farm in Lisbon Falls, Maine, where they would make their home for over thirty years. This farm was originally settled by his great-grandfather in 1798. It was here that raised their family, and where John wrote most of the books that he is best remembered for.

Gould began writing a weekly column for the "Christian Science Monitor" and wrote his first book in 1942. The "Monitor" syndicated his column and he was published in all major magazines and many newspapers in the United States. For five years he did a daily radio show for WLAM in Lewiston, Maine and a weekly show for WBZ in Boston. He was also a frequent contributor of taped features for the Trans-Canada English network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In addition, he was the editor and publisher of the Lisbon Enterprise, a weekly newspaper, published in Lisbon Falls, Maine. It was in these newspaper offices that Stephen King learned to hone his craft of writing. He had been assigned to the newspaper as punishment for his role in producing an underground newspaper in high school that made fun of the administration. John Gould became his mentor and helped him direct his writing skills in a more constructive manner. Stephen King talks about this experience in his book "On Writing".

Published books

* "Farmer Takes a Wife" (New York: William Morrow, 1945)
* "The House that Jacob Built" (New York: William Morrow, 1947)
* "Neither Hay nor Grass" (New York: William Morrow, 1951)
* "The Fastest Hound Dog in the State of Maine" (1953)
* "Monstrous Depravity: A jeremiad and a lamentation [about things to eat] " (New York: William Morrow, 1963)
* "The Parables of Peter Partout", with illustrations by F. Wenderoth Saunders (Boston, Little, Brown, 1964)
* "You Should Start Sooner; in which widely separated topics are strangely discussed by an old cuss", with illustrations by F. Wenderoth Saunders (Boston: Little, Brown, 1964)
* "Last One in: Tales of a New England boyhood, a gently pleasing dip into a cool soothing pool of the not-so-long-ago, so to speak", with illustrations by F. Wenderoth Saunders (Boston, Little, Brown, 1966)
* "Europe on Saturday Night; The Farmer and His Wife Take a Trip" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1968)
* "The Jonesport Raffle, and Numerous Other Maine Veracities", with illustrations by Edward Malsberg (Boston: Little, Brown, 1969)
* "Twelve Grindstones; or, A few more good ones, being another cultural roundup of Maine folklore, sort of, although not intended to be definitive, and perhaps not so cultural, either", with illustrations by Edward Malsberg (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970)
* "The Shag Bag, which, considering our peculiar [sic] present, has no motive, purpose, and dedicated aim, and is meant only to be amusing — which not very much is nowadays, is it?", with illustrations by Edward Malsberg (Boston: Little, Brown, 1972)
* "Glass Eyes by the Bottle: Some conversations about some conversation pieces" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1975)
* "Maine Lingo: Boiled owls, billdads & wazzats", in collaboration with Lillian Ross and the editors of Down East magazine (Camden, Maine: Down East Magazine, 1975)
* "Stitch in Time", with illustrations by Consuelo Eames Hanks (New York: W.W. Norton, 1985, ISBN 0-393-01976-4)
* "Old Hundredth", with illustrations by F. Wenderoth Saunders (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987)
* "There Goes Maine!: A somewhat history, sort of, of the Pine Tree State" (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990, ISBN 0-393-02834-8)
* "Funny about That", with drawings by Consuelo Eames Hanks (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992, ISBN 0-393-03049-0)
* "It Is Not Now: Tales of Maine" (New York: W.W. Norton, 1993, ISBN 0-393-03465-8)
* "Dispatches from Maine: 1942-1992" (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994, ISBN 0-393-03624-3)
* "Tales from Rhapsody Home, or, What They Don't Tell You About Senior Living" (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2000, ISBN 1-56512-280-1)


* Gould, John. "The Quintessential Downeast storyteller", "Christian Science Monitor", September 3 2003.
* Keillor, Garrison. "The Writer's Almanac". October 22 2006.

External links

* [ "The quintessential Downeast storyteller"] , an "exegesis" of his life, by John Gould, printed by the "Christian Science Monitor" on September 3 2003.

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