Dogfish Memory

Overview

The Maine dogfish are gone—fished to the brink of extinction. Gone too is Linda Jane, and with her the love and the subjunctive Maine that they might have shared. And what of that fabled “Old Maine”? Is it gone for good?
Written as a sailing chronicle, Dogfish Memory is the story of the search for an authentic Maine, a Maine of the past, whether historical or simply imagined, and a Maine of the present, one experienced by both permanent residents and seasonal ones—summerfolk. ...

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Dogfish Memory: A Memoir

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Overview

The Maine dogfish are gone—fished to the brink of extinction. Gone too is Linda Jane, and with her the love and the subjunctive Maine that they might have shared. And what of that fabled “Old Maine”? Is it gone for good?
Written as a sailing chronicle, Dogfish Memory is the story of the search for an authentic Maine, a Maine of the past, whether historical or simply imagined, and a Maine of the present, one experienced by both permanent residents and seasonal ones—summerfolk. Joseph Dane is both. He has worked on commercial fishing boats as a local and he has sailed the coast for years like those who are “from away.” Dogfish Memory tells the story of how his often conflicting Maines are intertwined. Authentic Maine is elusive; stories and even photographs of a past Maine often contradict the memories of those who have lived through the changes they record. Dogfish Memory is thus the story of loss, the loss of a Maine recalled and imagined, and the loss of the love with which Maine is irrevocably associated.

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Editorial Reviews

The Maine Magazine
“A sly and graceful memoir about Maine, sailing, and self.”
Los Angeles Times
This narrative thread is way too broken to craft into the kind of story you might tell a friend. This is a narrative that attracts only readers.

I have never seen a better illustration of how, spider-like and blind,
we weave our lives, one tier to the next. I have never seen a memoir so aggressively honest. He wanted to create something true out of these bits of failure (and some glorious moments) and he has done that.— Susan Salter Reynolds

Washington Post Book World
...[A] poignant, wistful and complex book...in the end, a deeply moving book. And it also made me want to see Maine.— Chris Bohjalian
Susan Salter Reynolds - Los Angeles Times
“This narrative thread is way too broken to craft into the kind of story you might tell a friend. This is a narrative that attracts only readers.

I have never seen a better illustration of how, spider-like and blind,
we weave our lives, one tier to the next. I have never seen a memoir so aggressively honest. He wanted to create something true out of these bits of failure (and some glorious moments) and he has done that.”

Chris Bohjalian - Washington Post Book World
“...[A] poignant, wistful and complex book...in the end, a deeply moving book. And it also made me want to see Maine.”
Franklin Burroughs
“Dogfish Memory combines memoir, elegy, quest narrative, sailing chronicle, and love story, and is held together by a remarkable voice—taut, frequently sardonic, precise, and utterly merciless towards all pretensions, all comforting illusions. It is a beautiful and moving book, propelled and obstructed by its emotional intensity, on the one hand, and its unrelenting, self-deflating intelligence on the other. I found myself thinking of W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn: not in its subject matter, but in its compelling inconsolability. But real books by real writers are sui generis, and this is a real book by a real writer.”
Aimee Bender
“A beautifully written account of sailing, and love,
and geography, and memory—told in prose as clear and open as water itself.”
Percival Everett
“This book by Joseph Dane is what memoir should be. It is open, free, smart, and contemplative (without being philosophical). It is about sailing, yes, but it is also about time, about several places and one place, about the nature of metaphor and the limits of it. This is a superb work. (I would sail with this Dane fellow, but I would not let him choose a girlfriend for me.”
T.C. Boyle
“An exquisite memoir about lost love and the sustaining grace of the sea.”
Los Angeles Times - Susan Salter Reynolds
“This narrative thread is way too broken to craft into the kind of story you might tell a friend. This is a narrative that attracts only readers.I have never seen a better illustration of how, spider-like and blind, we weave our lives, one tier to the next. I have never seen a memoir so aggressively honest. He wanted to create something true out of these bits of failure (and some glorious moments) and he has done that.”
Washington Post Book World - Chris Bohjalian
“...[A] poignant, wistful and complex book...in the end, a deeply moving book. And it also made me want to see Maine.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581571547
  • Publisher: Countryman Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/4/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,521,034
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph A. Dane is a native of Maine who, despite being a professor of English at the University of Southern California, returns to his family property in Maine to spend summers sailing the coastline. He divides his time between Los Angeles, CA, and Harpswell, ME.

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