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Award-winning Novelist Jim Nichols Returns with “Blue Summer”


Islandport Press Set to Release Emotional Coming-of-Age Novel in September

Yarmouth, Maine (June 12, 2020)—Author Jim Nichols, award-winning novelist, explores fate, abuse, and delayed justice as they play out on an emotional and gritty landscape in his new coming-of-age novel, “Blue Summer."

Scheduled for national release on September 8, “Blue Summer” is published by Islandport Press and reunites the same editorial team that produced “Closer All the Time,” winner of the 2016 Maine Literary Award for Best Fiction. “Closer All the Time” is lauded for its masterful weaving together of connected stories and unforgettable characters in Nichols’s singular voice. Writer Bill Roorbach says the book is “built of sentences so beautiful I want to keep them like wild honey in a jar.”

Now, Nichols’ “Blue Summer” brings us forty-year-old musician Cal Shaw, a man who has seen better days. He now lives in a trailer park in Florida while coming to terms with addiction. He also contemplates his idyllic 1960s Maine childhood, which was shattered by two blows: the death of his father and arrival of a violent stepfather. As jazz and girls became his youthful escape, young Shaw’s search for love and forgiveness was torn apart by loss and domestic abuse. “Blue Summer” is the story of the justice he eventually delivers, and underpinning it all is a beautiful melody he calls ‘Blue Summer.’

“Like ‘Closer All the Time,’ Nichols braids a complicated and haunting story in ‘Blue Summer’,” said Genevieve Morgan, fiction editor at Islandport. “Like a song that gets stuck in your head, these characters land and won’t let go.”

Nichols draws inspiration from his experiences growing up in Maine. He worked a variety of jobs including bartender, pilot, taxi driver, orange picker, travel agent, and dispatcher for an air taxi service. His writing has appeared in numerous regional and national magazines including Esquire, Narrative, and Night Train. He has written two previous novels, "Hull Creek" and "Closer All the Time." He lives in Warren, Maine.

Islandport Press, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, is a dynamic, award-winning publisher dedicated to stories rooted in the essence and sensibilities of New England. For more information, please call visit or email