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In the spirit of Rachel Carson and John Berger, Fathoms is a work of profound insight and wonder that marks the arrival of an essential new voice in narrative nonfiction, and provides us with a powerful, surprising, and compelling view of some of the most urgent issues of our time.

 

Fathoms is a marvel: a glorious, prismatic, deeply affecting hymn to the beauty, majesty, and extremity of whales and the human imagining of them.’—James Bradley, author of Clade

Fathoms reads like a poem. Its virtuoso thinking is a revelation. I can’t think of many books in which love for the world and uncompromising, ever-deepening rigour come together in this way. Time slows down. This book makes a permanent dent in the reader.’—Maria Tumarkin, author of Axiomatic

Fathoms took my breath away. Every page is suffused with magic and meaning. Humanity’s relationship with nature has never been more important or vulnerable, and we are truly fortunate that at such a pivotal moment, a writer of Rebecca Giggs’s calibre is here to capture every beautiful detail, every aching nuance. She is in a league of her own.’—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

‘One of the most beautifully written nonfiction books I have read in a long time. It’s so hard to do justice to the immense importance of whales and the lessons they have for us all. Rebecca Giggs does an extraordinary job of bringing together the science, the history, and the brilliance and fragility of whales.’—Christine Kenneally, author of The Invisible History of the Human Race

 

 

‘There is a kind of hauntedness in wild animals today: a spectre related to environmental change … Our fear is that the unseen spirits that move in them are ours. Once more, animals are a moral force.’

When Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beach in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales might shed light on the condition of our seas. How do whales experience environmental change? Has our connection to these fabled animals been transformed by technology? What future awaits us, and them? And what does it mean to write about nature in the midst of an ecological crisis?

In Fathoms: the world in the whale, Giggs blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore these questions with clarity and hope. In lively, inventive prose, she introduces us to whales so rare they have never been named; she tells us of the astonishing variety found in whale sounds, and of whale ‘pop’ songs that sweep across hemispheres. She takes us into the deeps to discover that one whale’s death can spark a great flourishing of creatures. We travel to Japan to board whaling ships, examine the uncanny charisma of these magnificent mammals, and confront the plastic pollution now pervading their underwater environment.

 

Rebecca Giggs is a writer from Perth, Western Australia. Her work has been widely published, including in Best Australian Essays, Best Australian Science Writing, Best Australian Stories, Granta, Aeon, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and Griffith Review. Rebecca’s nonfiction focuses on how people feel about, and feel for, animals in a time of technological change and ecological crisis.

 

A few years ago, I helped push a beached humpback whale back out into the sea, only to witness it return and expire under its own weight on the shoreline. For the three days that it died, the whale was a public attraction. Locals brought their children down to see it. Then out-of-towners came, too. People would stand in the surf and wave babies in pastel rompers over the whale, as if to catch the drift of an evaporating myth. Keep reading

 

 

  • US rights sold to S&S in a six-figure deal
  • Major advertising and marketing campaign across literary, print, and digital media
  • Advertisements in bookseller newsletters and catalogues
  • Feature interviews in major newspapers, blanket review coverage, and radio interviews
 

For your chance to receive an advance copy of Fathoms email here

 

 

 

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