In 1990, Maryland's book growth rate was as healthy as ever, according to the latest unofficial returns. Whatever the weather in diplomacy and economics, the life of the mind went on undaunted. Week after week, a Maryland author's book about baseball stood out on the best-seller lists nationally (George F. Will's "Men at Work"), and 77,000 copies is the current sales report from a Maryland publisher's book on bladder control. Especial congratulations to all first-time authors; earnest apologies to any author unrecorded in this crush -- this year-end census of new, general-reader titles and their Maryland authors or subjects:
In fiction, Jaimy Gordon scored with "She Drove Without Stopping." "Done Crabbin': Noah Leaves the River" was Gilbert Byron's sequel to his Eastern Shore classic, "The Lord's Oysters." From Morgan Llywelyn came "Red Branch"; from Michael Kun, "A Thousand Benjamins." The ever-reliable Barbara Mertz wrote (as Barbara Michaels) "Into the Darkness." Two well-regarded short story writers were represented: Stephen Dixon by "All Gone" and Elisabeth Stevens by "Horse and Cart: Stories From the Country," and Christopher Tilghman's "In a Father's Place" had several stories set on the Eastern Shore. "Dead and Buried" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro exemplified the technique (book from film) of novelization.
The newly published writers of romance fiction included Ruth Glick and Eileen Buckholtz (twice, as Rebecca York), Louise Titchener (as Jane Silverwood), Kathryn Jensen (as Nicole Davidson), Chassie West (as Joyce McGill), Linda K. Shertzer (as Melinda Pryce), Mary Jo Putney, Anne Knoll, Mary Kirk, Alice Leonhart and, the national leader, Nora Roberts.
How many true-life stories? The roster of biography and autobiography includes "One in a Million," by Harry A. Cole with Martha M. Jablow; "Gifted Hands," by Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.; Elisabeth Hanson's series life of Margaret Mitchell; Vol. II in Victor Lowe's "Alfred North Whitehead"; "The Scent of Eternity: a Life of Harris Elliott Kirk of Baltimore," by Donald G. Miller; Lisa Aldred's "Thurgood Marshall"; Rosemary Mahoney's account of teaching in China, "The Early Arrival of Dreams"; Daniel Mark Epstein's widely admired "Love's Compass: a Natural History of the Heart"; "Harriet Tubman," by Judith Bentley; Linell Nash Smith's anthology of "Loving Letters From Ogden Nash"; M. C. Joelle Fignole Lofton's "Bitter Perspectives on Maryland's Extension Service"; "Up From Washington: William Pickens and the Negro Struggle for Equality, 1900-1954," by Sheldon Avery; and "Those Years: Recollections of a Baltimore Newspaperman," that is, the stage and film critic R. H. Gardner's experiences, 1951 to 1984, at The Sun.
Prominent among works of history was Hugh Davis Graham's "The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960-1972." Philip D. Curtin had two books out: "Death by Migration: Europe's Encounter With the Tropical World in the 19th Century" and "The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History." "Lucretia's Dreams: Politics and
Prophecy in 16th Century Spain" was by Richard
Kagan; "The Road to Division: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854," by William W. Freehling; "The First Century" by Will Klingaman. John Pocock's book was "Politics, Languages and Time: Essays in Political Thought and History"; Ronald Walters did "A Black Woman's Odyssey Through Russia and Jamaica: The Narrative of Nancy Prince"; Louis Galambos, "The Public Image of Big Business in America, 1880-1940." Merritt Terley wrote "Traveling the National Road: Across the Centuries on America's First Highway"; W. Wayne Smith, "Anti-Jacksonian Politics Along the Chesapeake." Ross J. Kelbaugh compiled a "Directory of Civil War Photographers." Herbert H. Harwood's handsome tribute to deluxe Baltimore & Ohio passenger train was "The Royal Blue Line"; Timothy Jacobs edited a pictorial "History of the B.& O., America's First Railroad."
Local history dependably calls forth a spangled array: Frederic O. Musser's "The History of Goucher College, 1930-1985"; Agnes Kane Callum's "Colored Volunteers of Maryland: 7th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, 1863-1866"; D. Scott Hartung's "The Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign"; "The Patapsco: Baltimore's River of History," by Paul J. Travers; Stephen Basarab's "Ukrainians of Maryland"; Madeline Doyle's "Early 20th Century Baltimore: Views by a Newspaper Artist, James Doyle (1880-1952)," her father; the touching reminiscences in "But Now When I Look Back: Remembering St. Mary's County Through Farm Photographs" (Andrea Hammer, ed.); Mary U. Corddry's thorough "Museums and Monuments of the Eastern Shore of Maryland"; "Historic Long Green Valley," by Elmer R. Haile Jr.; "Sailing With Pride," Greg Pease's photos of Baltimore's eponymous oceangoer; Jane Vessels' pictorial "Ocean City: Maryland's Grand Old Resort" and, toward the state's opposite end, a town's anniversary self-salute: "Lonaconing: Home in the Hills."