Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town (Paperback)Lamorna Ash (author)
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A celebration of community, perseverance and a sense of belonging, Dark, Salt, Clear is a meditation on the soul of a Cornish fishing town in the face of encroaching globalisation.
Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020
A captivating, lyrical and deeply discerning portrait of life in the Cornish town of Newlyn, the largest working fishing port in Britain, from a brilliant debut writer.
There is the Cornwall Lamorna Ash knew as a child - the idyllic, folklore-rich place where she spent her summer holidays. Then there is the Cornwall she discovers when, feeling increasingly dislocated in London, she moves to Newlyn, a fishing town near Land's End. This Cornwall is messier and harder; it doesn't seem like a place that would welcome strangers.
Before long, however, Lamorna finds herself on a week-long trawler trip with a crew of local fishermen, afforded a rare glimpse into their world, their warmth and their humour. Out on the water, miles from the coast, she learns how fishing requires you to confront who you are and what it is that tethers you to the land. But she also realises that this proud and compassionate community, sustained and defined by the sea for centuries, is under threat, living in the lengthening shadow cast by globalisation.
An evocative journey of personal discovery replete with the poetry and deep history of our fishing communities, Dark, Salt, Clear confirms Lamorna Ash as a strikingly original new voice.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
‘An empathetic writer who sees poetry in the everyday, Lamorna gives us a real sense of these men who never feel quite at home at sea or on the land.’ - The Mail
'A bracing account of discovery ... Part coming-of-age memoir, part anthropological study, Dark, Salt, Clear glistens with deftly told snippets and character-rich stories ... Cornwall's harbourside cottages and ragged cliffs may look picturesque, but they hide an unsettling "anger and insularity", she argues. With graceful lyricism and endearing humility, Ash gives this rage both voice and face' - Oliver Balch, The Financial Times
'Terrific ... A hugely moving but unsentimental account of not only today's fishermen but also a salty, grafting, real-life England too rarely depicted in literature ... It is well-timed, feels rather important, and has excellent tips on the filleting of fish. What more could you want?' - Richard Benson, The Mail on Sunday
'Lamorna Ash is a beautiful prose stylist - precise, perceptive, humane and sensitive - who somehow manages to write in a way that is both earthy and poetic. Her debut book - full of fish and blood and salt and oilskins - marks the birth of a new star of non-fiction' - William Dalrymple
'With the heart of a novelist and the clarity of an ethnographer, Lamorna Ash reveals the Cornish fishing community of Newlyn in all its tension and hardship and wild joy. Dark, Salt, Clear is a book of deep immersion and a stunning debut' - Philip Marsden
'Lamorna Ash evokes the vigour and complexity of the country's westernmost fishing port with a love only a granite heart could resist. As Cornwall's fishing and farming communities hold their breath to see whether leaving the EU will save or savage them, Dark, Salt, Clear arrives at the perfect time and should be cherished by natives, incomers and emmets alike' - Patrick Gale
'Lamorna writes with a maturity and wisdom that betrays her years and which took me to the very heart of Newlyn while questioning my sense of belonging ... Dark Salt, Clear is a captivating homage to Newlyn and its people' - Lara Maiklem
'Lamorna Ash's beautiful debut is a seductive, vivid reading experience. A portrait of the life and unique character of a community, it is also an exploration of the spaces around a person, that make up the person - a young woman's search for her own identity and her self. You'll love her characters, because they've been written with love, and that makes them live on the page' - Barney Norris
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