Tripp, Dawn Clifton 1968(?)-

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TRIPP, Dawn Clifton 1968(?)-

PERSONAL:

Female. Born c. 1968, in Newton, MA. Education: Graduate of Harvard University (literature).

ADDRESSES:

Home—Westport, MA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 299 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10171-0002.

CAREER:

Author.

WRITINGS:

Moon Tide: A Novel, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Another novel.

SIDELIGHTS:

For the setting of her first novel, Dawn Clifton Tripp drew on her adopted hometown of Westport, Massachusetts. A native of Newton, Massachusetts, Tripp used to go to Westport during the summers to visit her grandmother. After deciding as an adult to make Westport her home, Tripp searched local bookstores and libraries for historical information on the town. Her research would provide much of the novel's atmosphere. "Moon Tide was a novel that grew in me over time," Tripp told Lisa Palmer for an article in Standard-Times that also appeared on the SouthCoastToday Web site. "In many ways, it grew out of my passion for the landscape here. Apart from that, there was no single kernel or event that triggered the book."

In her novel, Tripp presents a historical romance focusing on three Westport women: Elizabeth, the matriarchal widow of an Arctic explorer; Elizabeth's granddaughter Eve, who is traumatized by her own mother's death; and Maggie, a clairvoyant who falls in love with a rum smuggler. Covering two decades, Moon Tide traces the women's lives and loves as they move toward an eventual encounter with the devastating hurricane of 1938. In real life, the 1938 hurricane caused widespread destruction, killing hundreds of people throughout New England.

Critics offered warm praise for Tripp's debut novel, particularly for the author's lyrical writing style. "In Tripp's hands, the storm becomes a complex piece of music that builds note by note, swelling to its deadly crescendo," wrote Sandra Shea in the Boston Globe. "Her description is both sensual and visceral." Joanne Wilkinson, reviewing the novel in Booklist, noted that Tripp is an "unusual stylist" and said, "Haunting, ethereal, and often brutal, her novel achieves the resonance of myth." A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that "Tripp writes lovely sentences, but she's so enamored by the sound of her authorial voice that the characters remain artful constructs without convincing lives of their own." However, Jo Manning of Library Journal commented that the "story itself is slow and carefully paced" and noted the author's "word-heavy, shimmering descriptions" and the "gripping climax."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 2003, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Moon Tide, p. 164.

Boston Globe, August 17, 2003, Sandra Shea, review of Moon Tide, p. D6.

Denver Post, Christine Wald-Hopkins, review of Moon Tide, p. EE2.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2003, review of Moon Tide, p. 640.

Library Journal, April 15, 2003, Jo Manning, review of Moon Tide, p. 128.

People, August 4, 2003, review of Moon Tide, p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, April 28, 2003, review of Moon Tide, p. 43.

ONLINE

SouthCoastToday Online,http://www.southcoasttoday.com/ (June 3-29, 2003), Lisa Palmer, "A Rising 'Tide.'"*