Former Hardwick Gazette Owner Publishes Debut Novel

MONTPELIER – “Granite Kingdom: a Novel” by former Hardwick Gazette owner and editor Eric Pope will be released by Rootstock Publishing on November 29. 

With an engaging cast of characters, “Granite Kingdom” is a complex yet balanced look at the granite industry and newspaper business in rural Vermont in the early 1900s.

The historical novel is set in 1910 in a northern Vermont village and the nation’s largest supplier of granite for construction. The protagonist, newspaper reporter Dan Strickland, investigates fatal industrial accidents at one of the village’s big granite producers and winds up caught between the grudges of business owners and the struggles of climbing the social ladder.

Scott McLaughlin, executive director of the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre, called the book “a compelling story about a small Vermont town grappling with the changes that swept many American communities in the early twentieth century… a welcome addition to Vermont’s granite story.”

“When my wife and I owned and edited the Hardwick Gazette from 1977 to 1986, I often consulted back issues of the newspaper to write stories about the town’s granite boom in the early 1900s,” Pope said. “I wanted to write a book that brought that era to life and made the town’s rich heritage more accessible to modern readers.”

Pope has spent most of his life writing for small and midsize publications. After retiring from a public relations job at Lawrence Technological University outside Detroit, he is trying his hand at writing historical fiction. “Granite Kingdom” is his first novel. He lives in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., with his wife, Karen.

A book launch event with Eric Pope is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m., at the Memorial Building, 20 Church Street in Hardwick, co-sponsored by Jeudevine Memorial Library, Galaxy Bookshop, and Hardwick Historical Society.