In, Demon Fish (Pantheon, $26.95), this eye-opening adventure that spans the globe, Juliet Eilperin
investigates the fascinating ways different individuals and cultures
relate to the ocean’s top predator. Along the way, she reminds us why,
after millions of years, sharks remain among nature’s most awe-inspiring
creatures. From Belize to South Africa, from Shanghai to Bimini, we see that
sharks are still the object of an obsession that may eventually lead to
their extinction. Yet we also see glimpses of how people and sharks can
exist alongside one another: surfers tolerating their presence off Cape
Town and ecotourists swimming with sharks that locals in the Yucatán no
longer have to hunt.
With a reporter’s instinct for a good story and a scientist’s
curiosity, Eilperin offers us an up-close understanding of these
extraordinary, mysterious creatures in the most entertaining and
illuminating shark encounter you’re likely to find outside a steel cage.
Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961—from Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide—Paul Hendrickson traces the writer’s exultations and despair around the one constant in his life during this time: his beloved boat, Pilar. Whenever he could, he returned to his beloved fishing cruiser, to exult in the sea, to fight the biggest fish he could find, to drink, to entertain celebrities and friends and seduce women, to be with his children. Drawing on previously unpublished material, including interviews with Hemingway’s sons, Hendrickson shows that for all the writer’s boorishness, depression, and alcoholism, and despite his choleric anger, he was capable of remarkable generosity—to struggling writers, to lost souls, to the dying son of a friend. Hemingway’s Boat (Knopf, $30) is both stunningly original and deeply gripping, an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this great American writer, published fifty years after his death.