Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Piedmont Book Club Meeting October 9
Have you ever read any James Michener books? He was a prolific writer of the second half of the twentieh century who could wrap an encyclopedic amount of information into the story he was writing. Chesapeake begins like most of his novels in pre recorded times and then progresses throught the sagas of the families to President Nixon and Watergate. If you would like to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay---all the geography, history, wildlife, and industry, then this is the book for you. Even Frank Perdue is mentioned in this book and you learn that the term Delmarva stands for peninsula in the bay that is shared by three states: Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
James Michener was born in 1907 and died in 1997. He was a foundling who was adopted by a Quaker woman. Michener loved travel and by the age of 20 he had been to almost every state in the union. He was a war historian during World War II and his first novel was about Japan. Later his third wife would be Japanese. Michener is connected to the University of Northern Colorado where he taught for a time. In his later years he lived in Texas and taught at the University of Texas. Michener was the perfect writer for a country that was expanding. He wrote novels on the new states of Alaska and Hawaii and on the growing states of Colorado and Texas.
In 1997 at the age of 90 he died after deciding to forgo any more daily dialysis treatments for diabetes which he had been doing for four years. He definitely deserves a place in American literature.