Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909), American novelist and short story writer, whose works were set in or near South Berwick, Maine, a declining New England seaport town near the Maine border with New Hampshire. Jewett's father was a doctor, and Jewett often accompanied him on his rounds, becoming acquainted with the sights and sounds of her native land and its people. As treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that developed in early childhood, Jewett was sent on frequent walks and through them also developed a love of nature.  In later life, Jewett often visited Boston, where she was acquainted with many of the most influential literary figures of her day; but she always returned to South Berwick, the "Deephaven" of her stories.
Jewett published her first important story in the Atlantic Monthly at age 19, and her reputation grew throughout the 1870s and '80s. Her literary importance arises from her careful, if subdued, vignettes of country life that reflect a contemporary interest in local color rather than plot. Jewett possessed a keen descriptive gift that William Dean Howells called "an uncommon feeling for talk--I hear your people." Jewett's most characteristic works include the novella The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896); A Country Doctor (1884), a novel about a New England girl who rejects marriage to become a doctor; and The White Heron (1886), a collection of short stories. Some of Jewett's poetry was collected in Verses (1916), and she also wrote three children's books. Willa Cather described Jewett as a significant influence on her development as a writer.
Jewett established a close friendship with writer Annie Fields and her husband, publisher James T. Fields, editor of the Atlantic Monthly. After the death of James Fields in 1881, Jewett and Annie Fields lived together for the rest of Jewett's life (Fields died in 1915) in what was then termed a "Boston marriage." Not surprisingly, some modern scholars have speculated that the two were lovers. .
On September 3, 1902, Jewett was injured in a carriage accident that effectively ended her writing career. She died following a stroke in 1909. The Jewett family home in South Berwick, built in the late eighteenth century, is preserved as a National Historic Landmark.