A Tribute to James A. Michener

I meant to write a tribute to James A. Michener yesterday in honor of the 108th anniversary of his birth. One of his novels, Centennial, is one of my all-time favorite books. Since reading it in 1975, I have wished I could write such a book.

I loved the way the second chapter started by telling about the formation of the world, the way it talked about the Earth’s layers, how Colorado was formed, and how the fictional town of Centennial, Colorado fit into the grand scheme of things. It was a powerful visual. I loved the characters in the book and how it carried through from generation to generation. Mr. Michener managed to weave geography and history together in a way that resonated with me. What a gift!

Forty years later, I recall more details of Centennial than most of the books I’ve read in the last year.