Ben Ames Williams would never have imagined the digital revolution. He was interested in people. His stories are populated with characters of strong personality and well defined traits: some admirable, some not, some strong, some weak. Few are colorless.
A powerful collection of 16 short stories, “Fraternity Village” is an exploration of human morality, dignity, self-reliance, duplicity, shame, and dependence. The characters are drawn from real life in a real time and in a real location. The Union Historical Society (UHS) brings these tales to readers in two forms: an eBook available for $9.99 at Amazon’s Kindle and a paperback book for $16.00 at Amazon and directly from the UHS at the Robbins House on Union Common.
Stories set in early 20th century rural Searsmont, Maine, may seem naively simple to a reader using a tablet while jetting to the far side of the world, but these stories are not about a life and a time; they are about people. The idea about what makes a person does not change with technology. It is not the medium on which words are printed that matters. It is only that the words and ideas are transmitted and shared.
The family of Ben Ames Williams asserts that his stories, his people, and his exploration of human character is as relevant today as when first penned, between 1920 and 1941. That they will live on, and be ever more available to people in the infinitely accessible digital age, should be celebrated.
Williams’s perennial 1940 favorite, “Come Spring,” was republished by the UHS in 2000 and is for sale by the Society. For more information or to order books, call the Union Historical Society at 785-5444 or email at email@example.com.