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In Strand, travel writer and amateur naturalist Bonnie Henderson traces the stories of wrack washed up on the mile-long stretch of Oregon beach she has walked regularly for more than a decade.
Henderson's writing conveys both a keen attention to the specifics of place and an expansive field of vision. The burned hull of a long-abandoned fishing boat, a glass fishing float, the egg case of a skate, a beached minke whale, an unusual number of dead murres, and an athletic shoe are the starting points for essays that reach across the globe. Henderson takes readers from Coos Bay, Oregon, to China's Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, and from the North Pacific Ocean's "Eastern Garbage Patch" to fishing villages on the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.
As Henderson follows these journeys, she meditates on current issues, events, and phenomena--oil spills, the proliferation of ocean debris, international trade, the evolution of sharks, and the survival prospects of whales. The characters that emerge range from the world's leading minke whale researchers to the crew of a Coast Guard airbase to a small-town salvager of wrecked fishing boats, glued to the radio and praying for disaster.
"On our radar: Must-read for your next beach weekend."
"A marvelous book--enchanting, illuminating, often surprising, always informative."
David Laskin, author of The Children's Blizzard and The Family
"A series of jewel-like essays ... A must-read for anyone interested in the coastal waters of the Northwest."
Seattle Times Best Book of 2008
2009 Oregon Book Awards finalist