Bong! The stroke of midnight, the end of 1994. Best wishes to the year's new or repeat Maryland authors, and to those $H anywhere who wrote about Maryland, all for the general reader. So now, the 41st annual listing -- apologies to anyone overlooked or out-spaced (addendum at month's end).
Fiction: From Maryland's three best-seller suspense artists came chronologically) "Debt of Honor," by Tom Clancy; Stephen Hunter's "Dirty White Boys"; and "Night Train to Memphis" by Barbara Mertz (as Elizabeth Peters).
The two Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars masters of the short story, Jean McGarry and Stephen Dixon, produced, respectively, Home at Last" and "The Stories of Stephen Dixon" (1963-1993). John Barth's 12th book was "Once Upon a Time: A Floating Opera," an autobiographical fiction.
Helen Chappell's op-ed page reports on Desiree Grinch, Miss Nettie, Ferrus T. Buckett et al, from somewhere on the Shore, were smilingly assembled in "The Oysterback Tales." Nora Roberts, queen of the romance novelists, went mainstream in "Hidden Riches." "The Lost Diaries of Frans Hals" was an imaginative foray by Michael Kernan. A big seller was Dennis McAuliffe's "The Deaths of Sybil Bolton." John Boland's latest crime novel was "Murder in Jerusalem." "Silent Son" was by Gallatin Warfield. "Mantrap" was another of Louise Titchener's thrillers set in Baltimore.
John Gregory Brown wrote "Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery." "The Rag Bone Man," about a New Age bookstore, was by Charlotte Lawrence, a New Age bookstore owner. "Deep Water" was a series novel by Pam Jekel. Eight stories by Richard Rabikoff were collected as "Tough Customers." "Sunrise" was a Chassie West mystery. Glenn Lawson defined his "Baykeeper" as ecofiction.
Romance fiction: At least 15 Marylanders published novels, many using one or more pen names: Cynthia Bailey-Pratt, Eileen Buckholtz, Helen Chappell (here writing as Rebecca Baldwin), Sonia Crowne, Barbara Cummings, Ruth Glick, Rhonda Harding-Pollero, Kathryn Jensen, Susan King, Loree Lough, Jo-Ann Power, Mary Jo Putney, Nora Roberts (four additional books), Linda Shertzer, Betsy Tunis, Linda Windsor.
Science fiction: Published authors included Ann C. Crispin, Charles Sheffield, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Jack Chalker (two books), Brian Daley, James Luceno.
Biography, autobiography: "Mencken: A Life" was by Fred Hobson, the first biographer to have access to all this subject's writings. That included "35 Years of Newspaper Work: A Memoir by H. L. Mencken." Yet a third Mencken book: "Second Chrestomathy" (Terry Teachout, editor). Gerald Griffin, retired from The Sun, wrote "A Memoir." Jack Fruchtman Jr.'s "Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom" enlarged on an earlier study. For the centennial of James Thurber's mirth, Neil A. Grauer wrote "Remember Laughter." Ron Zaczek remembered Vietnam in "Farewell, Darkness."
James Lester honored a seminal jazz pianist in "Too Marvelous for Words: The Life and Genius of Art Tatum." Florence Martin's biography, "Bessie Smith," was written in French. In "My Great-Grandfather Was Stonewall Jackson," David Sawyer told "the story of a Negro boy growing up in the segregated South." "Father Joe: A Year of Wit, Wisdom and Warmth" was a collection of Catholic Review columns by the Rev. Joseph Breighner.
History: The Sun's Scott Shane bore witness to a 20th-century climax in "Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union." Carol Wilson reminded border-staters of an old stain in "Freedom at Risk: The Kidnapping of Free Blacks in America, 1780-1865." J. Matthew Gallman's subject was "The North Fights the Civil War: The Home Front." World War II's D-Day anniversary occupied Paul L. Stilwell, who put together "Assault on Normandy: First-Person Accounts From the Sea Services." Carole R. McCann dealt with civilian combat in "Birth Control Politics in the United States, 1916-1945." Stephen Hughes' subject was "Crime, Disorder and the Risorgimento" in 19th-century Italy. Leslie Prosterman relived Midwestern county fairs in "Ordinary Life, Festival Days."
Local history: Robert I. Cottom Jr. and Mary Ellen Hayward collaborated on the Maryland Historical Society's illustrated "Maryland in the Civil War: A House Divided." In "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," John Sherwood profiled 66 people who "hang on to values and skills that are quickly disappearing" (with Edwin H. Remsberg's photos). David C. Holly wrote "Chesapeake Steamboats: Vanished Fleet (1813-1963)." "The Price of Nationhood" to Charles County, Jean B. Lee wrote, was less prominence after the Revolutionary War. A more recent upset: "Blockbusting in Baltimore: The Edmondson Village Story," by Edward Orser.
"Orphanages Reconsidered" summed up Nurith Zmora's research into three now-defunct Baltimore child-care institutions. In "Other Voices," James M. Merritt recalled the early 1900s in Baltimore. Pages from the old News-Post were reproduced in "Baltimore in World War II." Further back, "the uncertain world" of the Baltimore County gentry, 1660-1776, was depicted by Charles G. Steffen in "From Gentlemen to Townsmen." S. Roger Keller chronicled "Events of the Civil War in Washington County, Maryland," while Daniel Carroll Toomey memorialized "Marylanders at Gettysburg."
Garrett Power's "Parceling Out Land in Baltimore, 1632-1796" recounted early real estate bargains and busts. "Poe Died Here: Recollections of Church Home and Hospital," by Frederick T. Wehr, presented 13 people's 1926-onward memories.
Archaeology: Some big books included "A Chesapeake Family and Their Slaves" by Anne Elizabeth Yentsch, reconstructing the daily life of a household whose head was also governor of Maryland; the 22-author "Historical Archaeology of the Chesapeake"; and Parker B. Potter Jr.'s "Public Archaeology in Annapolis."
Public affairs: M. Hirsh Goldberg was right on the mark with his "Complete Book of Greed: The Strange and Amazing Story of Human Excess." Erik Larson's message was equally disturbing, in "Lethal Passage: How the Travels of a Single Handgun Expose the Roots of America's Gun Crisis." Marianne Githens was an editor of "Different Roles, Different Voices: Women and Politics in the U.S. and Europe." Jack Kammer sought opinions on "the balance of power between the sexes" in his "Good Will Toward Men." Patrice McDermott's book was "Politics and Leadership: Feminist Journals and the Production of Knowledge." "Gays and Lesbians in the Military" absorbed Sandra Carson Stanley and Wilbur J. Scott. Dorothy Siegel studied how "Campuses Respond to Violent Tragedy." Patricia Senn Breivik and J. A. Senn co-authored "Information Literacy: Educating Children for the 21st Century." Marion W. Pines was the author of "Putting Families First: Managing Resources to Restore Communities." J. Herbert Altschull scrutinized an industry: "Agents of Power: The Media and Public Policy."
Ideas: The big book was "The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism," logging whole schools of thought. "The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges and the Analytic Detective Story" won prizes for John T. Irwin. "Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer" was by Charles Marsh; "Thoreau's Nature: Ethics, Politics and the Wild," by Jane Bennet. "Conceived Presences: Literary Genealogy in Renaissance England" was by Ralph Falco. Andre Colombat wrote on "The Holocaust in French Film." Dorothy Ross edited "Modern Impulses in the Human Sciences."
Cookbooks: They included "The Seafood Lovers Cookbook," by Gloria J. Bass; Ruth Glick's "Skinny One-Pot Meals"; "100 Percent Pleasure: The Low-Fat Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat," by Ruth Glick and Nancy Baggett; Susan Belsinger's "The Chile Pepper."
Sports: Ted Patterson's words and memorabilia highlighted "The Baltimore Orioles: 40 Years of Magic, From 33rd Street to Camden Yards." Rex Barney and Norman Macht collaborated on "Orioles Memories: 1969-1994." "When the Colts Belonged to Baltimore: A Father and a Son, a Team and a Time," was by William Gildea. With an assist from David Levine, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues scored with "In the Land of Giants: My Life in
Photography: "Bringing Back the Bay: The Chesapeake in the Photographs of Marion Warren and the Voices of Its People" (with Mame Warren) consisted of interviews and 195 black-and-white studies, from across 55 years. Patricia Mills' "On an Island in the Bay" had cutlines and color plates. "Mining the Museum: An Installation by Fred Wilson" re-created a striking Maryland Historical Society exhibition.
Poetry: Mark Strand's "Hopper" focused on 22 of Edward Hopper's paintings. A volume of poems by Michael Fried was titled, "To the Center of the Earth." George Neff Lucas' knack for rhyme and meter led to "Lines Formed on the Left: 400 Limericks on Politics, 1984-1992," reprinted from The Evening Sun.
Medicine: The sequel to 1989's "Staying Dry" was a comparable success: "Keeping Control: Understanding and Overcoming Fecal Incontinence," by Marvin M. Schuster, M.D., and Jacqueline Wehmueller. Elizabeth Kumin helped parents with her Communication Skills in Children with Down Syndrome." From a different perspective, Joseph W. Ciarrocchi offered "A Minister's Handbook of Mental Disorders." Linda Hayes was the force behind "Migraine: The Complete Handbook."
Younger set: Always, too many to keep up with. It was a Colby Rodowsky year: "Hannah in Between." And a David Wisniewski year: "The Wave of the Sea-Wolf." Frederick T. Wehr's other 1994 book, "Amelia," had an aviation theme. "Awesome Chesapeake: A Kid's Guide to the Bay" was by David Owen Bell. Uma Krishnaswami told "Stories of the Flood." Jerdine Nolan Harold created "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm." "Remembering Ellicott's Mills" was by Robin Liebno Linthicum.
Miscellany can be depended on for good stuff, such as "Butterflies of Delmarva," in which Elton N. Woodbury lists 61 species; "The Complete Handbook for College Women: Making the Most of Your College Experience," by Carol Weinberg; "Donna Hamilton's Gracious Country Inns and Favorite Recipes," also billed as "North America's Greatest Romantic Hideaways"; two bike books (Anne H. Oman's "25 Bicycle Tours in Maryland" and "Family Bicycling in the Washington-Baltimore Area," by John Pescatore); W. Lynn Seldon's "Country Roads of Maryland and Delaware"; "The Complete Confined Spaces Handbook," by John Rekus; Joan Cornblath's "Beyond the Tower: London for Return Travelers"; and Eileen Tarcay's chapbook, "Midnight, the Condo Cat."