Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Out on the Deep Blue

Out on the Deep Blue

True Stories of Daring, Persistence, and Survival from the Nation's Most Dangerous Profession

Leslie Leyland Fields, editor

Thomas Dunne Books



This is the first collection of dramatic, first-person accounts of commercial fishing written by the men and women who work in the nation's most dangerous occupation. Nineteen diverse fisher-writers, from the famous to the unknown, take the reader swordfish harpooning on the Georges Banks, winter crabbing in the Bering Sea, sea-urchin diving off Maine, herring fishing in Alaska, shark-harpooning off Scotland and points between. Together, they plumb the extremes of living, working, and sometimes dying at sea, creating the most intensely personal portrait of fishing and fishermen to date.

The best writing on commercial fishing is gathered here, blending the voices of such well-known writers as Peter Mathiessen, Gavin Maxwell, Linda Greenlaw, Spike Walker, and John Cole, together with experienced and emerging writers, many of whom have spent much of their lives on the water. With its layers and rich textures, this collection will have strong, enduring appeal to loves of nonfiction.


Marie Beaver
John Cole
Michael Crowley
Wendy Erd
Leslie Leyland Fields
Robert Fritchey
Joel Gay
Linda Greenlaw
Seth Harkness
Nancy Lord
Peter Mathiessen
Gavin Maxwell
William McCloskey
Paul Molyneaux
Debra Nielsen
Toby Sullivan
Martha Sutro
Joe Upton
Spike Walker


Praise for Out on the Deep Blue

“Ocean fishing is inherently dangerous, as the oceans themselves are changeable and often threatening. Each account conveys this danger to the reader but at the same time expresses the writer's respect and love for the ocean. The collection is pulled together by Fields's insightful introduction. While not a sports book exactly, this collection will be of interest to people who fish as well as to those who enjoy stories of adventure at sea.” —Library Journal

“The writing here is always thoughtful, always attentive, and shorn of the trimmings.” —Kirkus Reviews

“For readers interested in that topic, especially those who liked The Perfect Storm, it is sure to satisfy.” —Booklist

About the author

Leslie Leyland Fields, editor

Since 1978, Leslie Leyland Fields has followed the schools of ready-to-spawn fish out to a remote island where she and her husband fish commercially for salmon. With five children, ranging in ages from thirteen to six months, the island now has a population of seven.

Her essays have recently appeared in The Atlantic, Orion, The Christian Science Monitor, Experiencing Nature: A Creative Nonfiction Reader, The Best of Oregon Quarterly, and others. She is the recent winner of the Virginia Faulkner award for excellence in writing.

Leslie Leyland Fields

Leslie Leyland Fields

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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