About Herring Nights:
In this memoir of the herring fishery along the Maine coast in the 1970s, Joe Upton draws from the place and circumstances a mythic dimension of people in an intimate dance with their natural surroundings. In dories, skiffs, and seiners, fishermen chased herring through moonless nights among the wild offshore islands. Sometimes, when the phosphorescence in the water was firing and the stars were lost behind thick clouds, whales appeared like glowing locomotives beneath the boats, and the herring were shimmering clouds of light. Deep in the night, with surf close at hand, fishermen worked for the one good set that could spell the difference between lean times and a prosperous winter in outport fishing towns, knowing even then that their fishery was dying.
About the Author:
Joe Upton's first fishing job was in the dreary north Chilean town of Iquique in 1964, fishing for anchovy. After a few months he got a position in a Chilean tuna seiner, and later headed to Alaska to participate in the Bering Sea king crab fishery. Then came four years in the Alaskan salmon fishery aboard a 32-foot gillnetter, during which time he wrote Alaska Blues (1979, reissued 2008), an award-winning saga of commercial fishing. In 1976 Upton moved to Maine and bought the Amaretto, a 60-year-old 71-foot sardine carrier. Joe now divides his time between Bainbridge Island, Washington, and Vinalhaven Island, Maine, where he berthed the Amaretto four decades ago.
-Under the title Amaretto in the 1980s, this memoir gave lyrical voice to a dying way of life in Maine's herring fishery, just as Men's Lives (Peter Matthiessen) did for the Long Island surf fishery and Beautiful Swimmers (William Warner) for the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery.
-Back in print after 25 years, with a new introduction from Joe Upton to bring the story up to date.
-A swift, compelling read. A wonderful accompaniment for a Maine vacation. A great gift for any fan of sea stories.
Author Joe Upton will be book signing Herring Nights at the 2015 Beyond the Sea Book Festival at Lincolnville Beach on Sunday, July 26th, 11:30-1:30.