Emily Dickinson is the inspiration for a new young adult novel set in the poet’s hometown of Amherst. At the heart of Milton resident Kathryn Burak’s “Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things” (Roaring Brook) is Claire, a high school senior who has lost her mother and her best friend. In her grief, she turns to Dickinson’s poetry and then she does something out of character, or is it? She breaks into Dickinson’s house and takes the poet’s dress.
Dickinson aficionados know that the dress on display at Emily Dickinson’s home, one of the buildings that make up the Emily Dickinson Museum, is a reproduction. The actual dress is owned by the Amherst Historical Society.