Agnes Bushell was born in Queens, New York, in 1949. She attended the University of Chicago, and moved to Maine in 1970 with her husband, where, with the exception of several year-long interruptions, she has lived ever since. Her two children were born and raised in Portland; she has two Californian grandsons.
Bushell has been publishing fiction steadily since her first novel, Local Deities (Curbstone Press), appeared in 1990. That book, set in Portland, Maine, was a roman á clef, dealing with the arrest and trial of members of a group of political radicals known after their capture by the FBI as the Ohio 7. Local Deities was compared favorably by the book reviewer for The Nation to the works of Dostoyevsky and Richard Wright. Her later political novels include Days of the Dead (John Brown Books), set in Central America during the 1980’s, a thriller which violated the conventions of the genre by taking the point of view of the revolutionaries and having a gay man as its protagonist; The Enumerator (Serpent’s Tail Press), a murder mystery set in San Francisco during the AIDS epidemic, which takes the reader into the gay ghetto of the Castro and the world of the radical group, Queer Nation; and Mothers and Sons, which explores the relationship between highly political mothers and their somewhat ambivalent, apolitical sons.
Bushell has also published three mysteries set in Portland (Shadowdance, Death by Crystal and Death in Arcadia), a trio of novels set in Greece and Turkey (Asian Vespers, After Mistra, and Fabrice in Flight), and a novel about Richard III set on City Island, New York. (In the Garden of Nicholas Treeson).
The House on Perry Street is an epic novel about a house in Greenwich Village which has been the home of a single family since its construction in the 1870’s. The novel is layered, with a contemporary story interwoven with four other novels written by its characters, two at the turn of the twentieth century, and two in the 1960’s. In addition to the broad historical sweep of the novel, questions of religion, philosophy, and politics engage some of the characters, especially those who live through the politically charged years of the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Besides writing novels, Bushell has also written book reviews and essays for local Maine magazines and newspapers. She was involved in organizing the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and the Many Rivers School, and was one of the editors of Balancing Act, an Anthology of Maine Women Poets (Littoral Books, 1975). For over twenty years she taught literature and writing at the Maine College of Art, where she is Professor Emerita in Liberal Arts. She is currently at work on a novel set in Russia in the mid-nineteenth century.
Visit Agnes Bushell’s website at http://www.agnesbushell.com