Deep Blue Home
An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean
By Julia Whitty
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618119813, 256pp.)
Publication Date: July 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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At the center of Deep Blue Home—a penetrating exploration of the ocean as single vast current and of the creatures dependent on it—is Whitty’s description of the three-dimensional ocean river, far more powerful than the Nile or the Amazon, encircling the globe. It’s a watery force connected to the earth’s climate control and so to the eventual fate of the human race.
Whitty’s thirty-year career as a documentary filmmaker and diver has given her sustained access to the scientists dedicated to the study of an astonishing range of ocean life, from the physiology of “extremophile” life forms to the strategies of nesting seabirds to the ecology of “whale falls” (what happens upon the death of a behemoth).
No stranger to extreme adventure, Whitty travels the oceanside and underwater world from the Sea of Cortez to Newfoundland to Antarctica. In the Galapagos, in one of the book’s most haunting encounters, she realizes: “I am about to learn the answer to my long-standing question about what would happen to a person in the water if a whale sounded directly alongside—would she, like a person afloat beside a sinking ship, be dragged under too?”
This book provides extraordinary armchair entree to gripping adventure, cutting-edge science, and an intimate understanding of our deep blue home.
JULIA WHITTY's first book on oceans, The Fragile Edge, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal Award, the PEN USA Award, and the Kiriyama Prize. Her cover articles have appeared in Harper's Magazine and Mother Jones, where she is an environmental correspondent. She blogs at the Blue Marble and Deep Blue Home.
“A lovely, soft-spoken book about the ‘joy, inspiration, wonder, laughter, ideas’ that come from relating to Earth’s ‘nonhuman world.’”
“Here is a writer of power and persuasion; one worthy of the Rachel Carson mantle. Whitty allows us to peer into the ecological web of the mysterious World Ocean, sharing her passion for the continuation of the ocean's life-essential fabric.”
—Linda Lear, author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature
“Rhythmic, poetic, transporting, and illuminating, this is the sacred memoir of a woman among islands of miracles, yearning with all her heart to be right where she is.”
—Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean, The View From Lazy Point
“An illuminating exploration of the swirling currents connecting oceans, science, people, and history, bearing the reader on a unique voyage of discovery above and below the waves.”
—Daniel Bennett, President of The Explorers Club