Thomas Manning wasn't the only one whose work was taken out of USM
Another part of the closed exhibit was a book, Local Deities
, by Agnes Bushell, an associate professor at the Maine College of Art who is a longtime friend of Thomas Manning, Ray Luc Levasseur, and other violent activists associated with them. Her husband, Jim Bushell, is a lawyer who was briefly slated to represent Levasseur at a Portland trial in the mid-1980s, before that case was subsumed by more serious charges elsewhere.
The book, a work of fiction, was written in the 1980s. It is based on real events, and the characters are inspired by Manning, Levasseur, and others, as well as their defense lawyers. "Even as I was writing it, I was aware that I was recording a unique historical moment. Today Local Deities seems even more like a historical document, reflecting as it does a time, a language, and a set of beliefs, that seem to have been almost erased from our collective memory," wrote Agnes Bushell in the artist's statement accompanying the display of her book, which was published by Curbstone Press in 1990 and is available at Casco Bay Books.
: News Features
, Culture and Lifestyle, Religion, Maine College of Art