An Island Out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1996 - History - 316 pages
6 Reviews
Smith Island is a marshy archipelago in mid-Chesapeake Bay, nine miles from the mainland, home to 150 watermen and their families. This book is a portrait of a people who have remained intimately connected to the place in which they live, far past the time when "place" and "nature" any longer have immediate consequence to most of our lives. Tom Horton lived for nearly three years on Smith Island, recording through observation and interviews the traditions of oystering, crab catching, churchgoing, hunting and poaching, and the social rituals of these fiercely independent men and women. His beautifully elegiac story is about community and isolation, harvest and exploitation, and the risks and charms of being different from the surrounding world. Like Ian Frazier's The Great Plains, this is a book that grows from a vast and unique geography. The grassy shallows and the hidden bottoms of Smith Island, and of the Chesapeake, once supported a variety of waterfowl and marine life that astonished the early explorers. The decline of these natural wonders and the attempt to restore the health of Chesapeake Bay is one part of the story; the other is an effort to give voice to a distinctive people whose three centuries of working and being constitute an eloquent statement of humans in nature.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: An Island Out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake

User Review  - Sharon Gentile - Goodreads

Awesome read, have visited the island and can relate to most of what the author talks about in this memoir. Read full review

Review: An Island Out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake

User Review  - Patty - Goodreads

Fifteen years ago, Tom Horton published a book about his time living on Smith Island which is in both Maryland and Virginia. He actually moved there in 1986, so the three years that Horton was writing ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
Light and DarkA Matter of Balance
14
Conservationist of me Year
54
Praggers
67
WOMENS WORK
79
Born to Longbrancn
111
What They Came For
123
Hunters
130
The Wardens Story
141
CHURCH
177
ISLAND LIFE
199
YARNIN
237
BOATS
259
The Islands Futureand Ours
303
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

Horton reported on the Chesapeake Bay for the Baltimore Sun for fifteen years before becoming a freelancer in 1987.

Bibliographic information