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Fisherman's Blues

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Fisherman's Blues by Anna Badkhen
Paperback $16.00
Mar 12, 2019 | ISBN 9781594634871

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  • Mar 12, 2019 | ISBN 9781594634871

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  • Mar 13, 2018 | ISBN 9780698410848

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Fisherman’s Blues is a colorful and affecting portrait of an entire way of life, but it’s also a report from the front lines of a small industry in the twilight of a struggle it never thought it would even face, much less lose…There isn’t any realistic light at the end of the story Badkhen tells. But readers can still be grateful for this graceful, perceptive account.” -Christian Science Monitor

“A profound account of a single community—its primary industries, religious beliefs, and rhythms….[it] unfolds like a novel, featuring well-drawn and sympathetic characters, and show[s] how thoroughly the implications of environmental disaster seep into everyday life.” –The New Republic

“No polemical treatise, Badkhen’s Fisherman’s Blues offers a critical take through subtle and beautiful methods of storytelling. It creates a remarkable snapshot of lives we’d otherwise never know…Developing trust with subjects and truthfully rendering their life stories with great elegance, [Badkhen] achieves a level of poetic political action.” -Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“In elegiac vignettes, Badkhen portrays the trick and snare of a heroic and punishing profession…Her poetic style liberates the reader from the familiar, straightforward quality of traditional reportage, but her work remains equally honest and arguably more compassionate….Fisherman’s Blues is Badkhen’s ode to a community’s fraught ties to geography, and a gentle lament for an existence eroding at the shoreline.” -Dallas Morning News

“A conventional account of life in Joal would be fascinating reading in and of itself—a crucial snapshot of an endangered lifestyle. What Badkhen has written instead is something more like a ghost, an incantation, a life captured in words. In powerful language shaped by the winds and tides, Badkhen not only describes the fishers’ lives but also imbues them with an energy that borders on the uncanny.” -Paste Magazine

“A intimate, urgent, and compassionate narrative about how human and natural landscapes are being interrupted by the Anthropocene.” -LitHub
“Evocative [and] hauntingly beautiful…a moving tribute to a traditional way of life facing enormous change.” Publisher’s Weekly (starred)

“Badkhen is a spellbinding writer, her observations at once hypnotic and elegiac, witnessing a fragile community just barely getting by.” -Booklist

“Lyrical, precise, and lucent…a highly absorbing chronicle of a transcendent journey.” 
-Kirkus Reviews

“Badkhen’s keen observation and participatory research results in a book that gives readers a glimpse into what will be lost.”  -Library Journal

“This book is the story of a community full of love and strife and humor. Their way of life is an ode to humanity, and I’m so glad Anna Badkhen, one of the most creative and important nonfiction writers in our era, has allowed us to know them.” -James McBride, author of The Good Lord Bird

“Badkhen shares the rough and rich daily life of the masters of the Atlantic, and with piercing gaze and a style as passionate as it is precise reveals the secret dignity of their most ordinary gestures.” –Boubacar Boris Diop, author of Murambi, The Book of Bones

“A work of quiet genius. Badkhen has an uncanny ability to address some of the most complex of modern human problems — food shortages, human ambition, family relations—while, at the same time, conveying the spiritual awareness and binding allegiance and love that characterize an enduring community of fishing families on the coast of Senegal. Her keenly observed descriptions of the sea are startling and gorgeous, and her patient consideration of what matters most in human life is unexpectedly hopeful.” -Barry Lopez

“A masterpiece. Badkhen makes the natural world immediate, vivid, vital–sacred. She digs 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, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“A gorgeous and timely reintroduction to the world of my upbringing–a world too often ignored, yet whose contribution to tomorrow’s global civilization could be priceless.”--Pierre Thiam, Senegalese chef and author

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