|Boundary Stone, Nantucket (LC)|
Nantucket Island, in the North Atlantic about twenty-seven nautical miles south-southeast of Hyannis, Massachusetts, has been, and remains, a writer’s dream subject. There are countless works on Nantucket, ranging from cookbooks to studies of the Atlantic ridge by oceanographers. But the traditional ways to write about Nantucket seem to fall into categories. Those categories have been so recurrent as to virtually define not just Nantucket Island’s tourist experience, but the experiences of resident islanders and mainlanders as well. After a brief discussion of those categories, I propose, in this essay, to introduce another category, one that at first blush might not seem an interesting way to think about Nantucket, but one that strikes me as fundamental to an understanding of the place.