Synopses & Reviews
Although Smith Island lies only nine miles off the Maryland mainland, its five hundred inhabitants live much as their ancestors did three hundred years ago. They are exquisitely attuned to the habits of blue crab, oyster, and waterfowl. And they know that on any given day their lives literally depend on which way the wind is blowing.
Tom Horton spent three years living among Smith Island's watermen and their families and has emerged with this marvelously intimate portrait of a deeply traditional community and its vanishing way of life. Whether he is following the crab harvest or attending a service at the local church, eavesdropping on bawdy kitchen-table gossip or chronicling the islanders' disputes with seafood inspectors, Horton tells his stories with wonderful specificity even as he considers what they can teach us about living within nature and at a healthy distance from the rest of the world.
"He has captured in full the life of the island."Washington Post Book World
A classic of Chesapeake Bay literature, Tom Horton's An Island Out of Time chronicles the three years Horton and his family spent on Smith Island, a marshy archipelago in the middle of Maryland's famous estuary. The result is an intimate portrait of a deeply traditional community that lived much as their ancestors did three hundred years before, attuned to the habits of blue crab, oyster, and waterfowl. In a new afterword for this edition, Horton brings the story of Smith Island, and its people, up to the present.
About the Author
Tom Horton has written numerous books about the Chesapeake Bay. He lives in Riverton, Maryland.