The Johns Hopkins Gazette: December 7, 1998

Dec. 7, 1998
VOL. 28, NO. 14

Magma opus: Hopkins geologist reveals Earth's plumbing
Memorial service pays tribute to three students killed in Thanksgiving crash
Forget about it
Setting sights on new careers
Personal, material losses in disaster may be related to later illness
Talks, films highlight Human Rights Week at SHPH
In Brief
Employment Opportunities
Classified Advertisements
Weekly Notices
Weekly Calendar
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Charming Alice McDermott
It was nearing the end of the night and the question was still unanswered: Who would be this year's winner of the National Book Award for fiction? Alice McDermott's Charming Billy, a story of Irish Catholics in New York, was one of the five nominated books in the fiction category, but even McDermott admits that her odds of winning seemed like a less than 1-in-5 chance.
   That was because all bets that night were on Tom Wolfe, the renowned author of The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities, whose epic new novel, A Man in Full, was seen as the favorite.
   McDermott, a visiting professor in The Writing Seminars, was seated at a table with her agent, her editor and her husband, neuroscientist David Armstrong, when the chair of the fiction judging panel stepped up to the podium to introduce the winner. In his introduction, the presenter first spoke of the author and the novel without revealing the identity of either, a speech that McDermott thought rather beautiful and eloquent.
   "I was appreciating his language and not really absorbing what he was saying. And, for a moment, I thought, this doesn't sound like Tom Wolfe he's talking about," McDermott says. "Then my editor, who was across the table, sort of turned to me and said, 'It's you, It's you.'" Full story...

New center to study kids with asthma
Armed with a five-year $6.5 million grant, Hopkins pediatricians and scientists will try to determine why 8 to 15 percent of Baltimore's school-aged children have asthma--a rate that is higher than the national average of 7 percent. To help combat the problem, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have named Baltimore's first Center of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health Research.
   The program, to be run by the Children's Center and the School of Public Health, will study environmental factors and how they trickle into our homes, schools and daily lives. Full story...

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