"This is a miraculous, transcendental book. Across these essays, Imbler has choreographed a dance of metaphor between the wonders of the ocean’s creatures and the poignancy of human experience, each enriching the other in surprising and profound ways. To write with such grace, skill, and wisdom would be impressive enough; to have done so in their first major work is truly breathtaking. Sabrina Imbler is a generational talent, and this book is a gift to us all." — ED YONG, New York Times Bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes
A queer, mixed race writer working in a largely white, male field, science and conservation journalist Sabrina Imbler has always been drawn to the mystery of life in the sea, and particularly to creatures living in hostile or remote environments. Each essay in their debut collection profiles one such creature: the mother octopus who starves herself while watching over her eggs, the Chinese sturgeon whose migration route has been decimated by pollution and dams, the bizarre Bobbitt worm (named after Lorena) and other uncanny creatures lurking in the deep ocean, far below where the light reaches. Fusing genres to create a new kind of essay, Imbler's debut collection weaves the wonders of marine biology with stories of their own family and coming of age, implicitly connecting endangered sea life to marginalized human communities and asking how they and we adapt, survive, and care for each other.
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