Selections from Chesapeake
James A. Michener
Pulitzer Prize winning author James A. Michener wrote 40 books and sold over 75 million. The Watermen is an excerpt from Michener's Chesapeake - a 1024 page tome taking place on Maryland's Eastern shore, spanning the years from 1583 to 1978 and covers themes such as religion, slavery, poverty and industry. Michener lived in S. Michael, Maryland while he worked on the book. The Acknowledgments to Chesapeake reveal that Michener talked to nearly everyone ranging from, boat captains, fishermen, turtle hunters, mechanics, scientists, ecologists, historians, gun collectors, foresters, boat builders, and local characters and augmented his personal experiences with extensive research. Michener had a reputation for working 12 to 15 hours a day and cranking out 2000 words. The Watermen captures the lives, work, personalities, and drama of the men who lived sailing Chesapeake Bay for oysters. Michener digs out the ecologically important while capturing the human drama. Michener's writing engages you and grabs you while informing you. You feel the bay, smell the air, and as you read his descriptions of the work, your muscles ache. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.