ISBN-10:
1594634866
ISBN-13:
9781594634864
Pub. Date:
Publisher:
Fisherman's Blues: A West African Community at Sea

Fisherman's Blues: A West African Community at Sea

by Anna Badkhen

Hardcover

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Overview

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR AND PASTE MAGAZINE

An intimate account of life in a West African fishing village, tugged by currents ancient and modern, and dependent on an ocean that is being radically transformed.


The sea is broken, fishermen say. The sea is empty. The genii have taken the fish elsewhere.

For centuries, fishermen have launched their pirogues from the Senegalese port of Joal, where the fish used to be so plentiful a man could dip his hand into the grey-green ocean and pull one out as big as his thigh. But in an Atlantic decimated by overfishing and climate change, the fish are harder and harder to find.

Here, Badkhen discovers, all boundaries are permeable—between land and sea, between myth and truth, even between storyteller and story. Fisherman's Blues immerses us in a community navigating a time of unprecedented environmental, economic, and cultural upheaval with resilience, ingenuity, and wonder.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594634864
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Anna Badkhen has spent most of her life in the Global South. Her immersive investigations of the world's iniquities have yielded six books of literary nonfiction, most recently Fisherman’s Blues. She has written about a dozen wars on three continents, and her essays and dispatches appear in periodicals and literary magazines such as the New York Review of BooksGrantaThe CommonGuernica and the New York Times. Her awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship, and the Joel R. Seldin Award from Psychologists for Social Responsibility for writing about civilians in war zones.

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Excerpted from "Fisherman's Blues"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Anna Badkhen.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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What People are Saying About This

This book is a peek at a side of West Africa few of us have seen or will ever see. It’s about much more than the depletion of the waters, or how the habits of powerful nations hamstring other ways of life. This is the story of a community full of love and strife and humor, teenagers who die too young, women who understand life, men who tell bad jokes and believe in superstitions that come true, who pray to a kind God many of us don’t believe in or know. Their way of life is an ode to humanity, and I’m so glad Anna Badkhen, one of the most creative and important non-fiction writers in our era, has allowed us to know them. -James McBride

Ben Fountain

A masterpiece. I don't think I've ever seen the natural world captured so authentically. Badkhen makes it immediate, vivid, vital--sacred, actually. She is digging down into the truth of human experience on the planet at this time, and the book resonates with all our time on the planet. –Ben Fountain

James McBride

This book is a peek at a side of West Africa few of us have seen or will ever see. It’s about much more than the depletion of the waters, or how the habits of powerful nations hamstring other ways of life. This is the story of a community full of love and strife and humor, teenagers who die too young, women who understand life, men who tell bad jokes and believe in superstitions that come true, who pray to a kind God many of us don’t believe in or know. Their way of life is an ode to humanity, and I’m so glad Anna Badkhen, one of the most creative and important non-fiction writers in our era, has allowed us to know them. -James McBride

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