Beautiful Swimmers

Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay


Afterword by William W. Warner

Introduction by John Barth

By William W. Warner

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$25.99 CAD


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Trade Paperback $19.99 $25.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 21, 1994. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The classic Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the Atlantic blue crab and the people of the Chesapeake Bay who have depended on it for generations.
For decades, William Warner's exploration of the Atlantic blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay has delighted thousands of readers and become a modern American classic. Nature enthusiasts and fans of fine literature alike will find Beautiful Swimmers a timeless and enchanting study in the tradition of Rachel Carson and Annie Dillard.
In these pages, we are immersed not only in the world of the Chesapeake's most intriguing crustaceans, but in the winds and tides of the Bay itself and the struggles of the watermen who make their living in pursuit of the succulent, pugnacious blue crab.
"This is a book of rare grace and meditation, one that ranges from adventure to zoology, with no small measure of mystery and history." —Miami Herald
"Beautiful Swimmers is wonderful to read and a distinguished addition to our literature." –Larry McMurtry


  • "A reader's treat."
  • "William W. Warner's book on blue crabs is called Beautiful Swimmers, and beautiful is the word for it. Other words for it are elegant, moving, informative, and provocative...His book, so meticulously researched and gracefully written, is a small work of art and a large joy for the reader."
    Sports Illustrated

On Sale
Mar 21, 1994
Page Count
352 pages
Back Bay Books

William W. Warner

About the Author

William W. Warner (1920-2008) won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1977 for Beautiful Swimmers. He was a longtime administrator for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and his writing appeared in the Atlantic Naturalist and the New York Times.

Learn more about this author