Synopses & Reviews
"Summers, I live at fishcamp. June through August, Mondays and Fridays, my partner and I catch and sell salmon that pass our beach on their way to spawning streams. The rest of the week, and parts of May and September, Ken and I mend nets, comb the rocky shoreline for useful poles and cottonwood bark, do a thousand camp chores and projects. We live quite happily in a tiny cabin at the top of the beach." -from Fishcam.
For the past eighteen summers, Nancy Lord and her partner Ken have made a living, and made a life, fishing for salmon off the west side of Cook Inlet on the southern coast of Alaska. In Fishcamp, Lord provides a nuanced and engrossing portrait of their days and months in camp at the inlet.
Beginning with their arrival by plane on a freshly thawed lake, she describes their joys and tribulations as spring gives way to summer and the long months of summer unfold. With poetic cadence and magical tone, Lord draws the reader into life at camp, sharing experiences that range from the mundane to the sublime: the mending of nets; the muscle-wrenching labor of the catch; the exquisite pleasure of an improvised hot-tub; the often unnoticed bounty of the inlet's flora and fauna. Interwoven throughout the descriptions of quotidian adventure are threads of the deeper history of the region-stories and legends of the native Dena'ina; anecdotes about past and current inlet residents; discussions of the lives of their neighbors, both human and animal, who, like them, live with fish.
Fishcamp is Nancy Lord's eloquent paean to the place she calls home. In clear and richly textured prose, she captures the simple beauty of a life lived with nature, "a part" rather than "apart." As Lord explains, she shows us in Fishcamp "something about what even one place and its infinitely varied life contributes to the connections among us all and to the wholes we call 'world' and 'culture.'...Wherever our places are and whatever we do in them, perhaps we might all begin to pay more attention to the little and big things that do indeed connect in profound ways to all the rest, miles and eons and cultures apart.
Fishcamp is a remarkable combination of personal, cultural, and natural history from what will surely be recognized as one of the most talented new voices of our time.
In Fishcamp, Nancy Lord shares with us the natural and cultural history of the place near Cook Inlet, Alaska, where she and her partner have made a living, and a life, salmon fishing for the past eighteen years. With poetic cadence and magical tone, Lord writes of her life from June to August, days filled with the mending of nets, the muscle-wrenching labor of the catch, the exquisite pleasure of an improvised hot-tub, and the often subtle beauty of the inlet's flora and fauna. Woven throughout Lord's adventures is the deeper history of the region - stories and legends of the native Dena'ina people; anecdotes about past and current residents; descriptions of their neighbors, both human and animal, who, like Lord and her partner, live with fish.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -261).
About the Author
Nancy Lord lives in south-central Alaska, where she fishes commercially for salmon, writes, and promotes marine conservation. Her most recent book is "Survival", a collection of short fiction published by Coffee House Press in 1991.