My gratitude to the NYT this morning for highlighting a Maine author (other than Richard Russo and S. King) and in doing so have chosen one who is simultaneously untalented and batshit crazy. She’s got a new book. Say hello to your Maine caricatures:
For most of the time that she has been working on the book, Ms. Chute has also been greatly occupied with an organization called the 2nd Maine Militia, of which she is the founder and, as she says, “secretary of offense, or offensiveness.”
… The group has been known to meet in a hired hall, but more often it assembles in the woods behind the Chutes’ home, where the members shoot at cans and other targets, talk about what’s wrong with the world and dine on potluck.
…In 1996, in an incident recreated in “The School on Heart’s Content Road,” the militia invaded the State Capitol in Augusta, carrying placards that read, “Smash Corporate Tyranny.” Many of the militia children were in costume, and Mr. Chute wore a Revolutionary War uniform. There were some kazoo-playing and a little shouting, and someone duct-taped a piece of cardboard over a portrait of Joshua Chamberlain, the Maine governor and Civil War hero.
…Mr. Chute, who looks like a 19th-century hunting guide, spends most of his time drawing and making sculptures in an unfinished, uninsulated building he calls the security office. He has a beard of ZZ Top proportions, wears checked shirts and round felt hats, and in Down East fashion frequently uses “wicked” as an adverb…
Ayuh! Support the Chutes’ tin can & kazoo fund by purchasing her new book today!