After the Storm: True Stories of Disaster and Recovery at Sea

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9780071377959: After the Storm: True Stories of Disaster and Recovery at Sea

'A thinking person's perfect storm. Rousmaniere extrapolates from individual accounts of horrifying events at sea to trace a history of human interpretations of the meaning of life and death on the vast deep' - Daniel Finamore, Russell W. Knight, Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody, Essex Museum. John Rousmaniere is considered by many to have originated the storm-writing genre with his classic Fastnet, Force 10, which the "Los Angeles Times" praised as 'a narrative worthy of the best sea literature.' In "After the Storm", his most ambitious work ever, he takes storm stories to a new level of revelation and universality."After the Storm" is the expression of a master storyteller and the ultimate consequence of Rousmaniere's own experience in the Fastnet storm. 'I can testify that storms change lives,' he says in the introduction, 'because one changed mine'. In the book's interrelated stories, he tells of the hopes and choices that put sailors in harm's way, and then takes us into the gales themselves with authoritative knowledge of horrific weather and the split-second decisions that seafarers must make in appalling conditions.He explores the consequences of these disasters for survivors, rescuers, families, communities, and, in some cases, nations. And he shows how storm experiences shape reputations and beliefs, often creating myths springing from the hunger for explanation. The pursuit of these interconnected strands draws the reader deep into our ambivalent relationship with the sea as both 'destroyer and preserver'. The stories include a tragedy that destroyed a prominent Boston family; the Pacific typhoon that stopped America's first war with Germany; the disappearance of the Portland - 'New England's Titanic'; the worst noncombatant disaster in U.S. Navy history; the stormy deaths of a poet (Percy Bysshe Shelley) and a visionary (Margaret Fuller); the gale that redeemed a prophet after nearly destroying him; the storm off Newfoundland that inspired the hymn "Amazing Grace"; and two wrenching tales of derelict ships.With all the harrowing twists of the best adventure writing and the shattering impact of a storm at sea, "After the Storm" is a moving, provocative exploration of the roots and consequences of sudden tragedy in human affairs. 'If survival storms have indeed become a genre unto themselves, this is the author who invented the genre with Fastnet, Force 10. Now, more than twenty years later, he's reinventing it all over again, showing us stories of survival and loss we thought we knew in a whole new light, finding others we should never have lost and need to learn again' - Charles Doane, senior editor, "SAIL" magazine. 'Vivid, wise, and heartfelt. The crowning achievement of one of America's foremost sailing writers' - Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award - winning author of "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex".'Among writers who sail and sailors who write, John Rousmaniere is unrivaled in his technical expertise, his breadth of thought and feeling, and in his vigour and lucidity as a storyteller. "After the Storm" is his best book yet. Because this is Rousmaniere, there are enough finely described high winds and toppling waves here to satisfy the toughest and most fearless armchair adventurers. But the storm at sea is for Rousmaniere only the beginning. His quest for meaning in the chaos of turbulent air and water is conducted on so many fronts that the reader is left breathless and dazzled by this marvellous inquiry' - Jonathan Raban, author of "Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings" and "Bad Land: An American Romance".'No one writes about the violence of the sea better than John Rousmaniere, and he proves it again and again in After the Storm' - Stuart Woods, author of "Blue Water", "Green Skipper" and "The Short Forever". 'As captivating as it is unusual. Rousmaniere's descriptions of hurricanes and shipwrecks are among the best in the literature of the sea, but his book is far more than a sea story' - Philip Caputo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Rumour of War" and "The Voyage". 'Dynamic, complex, and relentlessly surprising. As Rousmaniere skilfully observes, the most remarkable thing about an offshore tempest is what it does to the people left in its wake' - Herb McCormick, sailing correspondent, "New York Times".

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About the Author:

John Rousmaniere brings together his (and our) deepest concerns about the sea, disaster, faith, and recovery as only a writer with broad knowledge of seamanship, history, and human nature could do.Besides having put more than 35,000 miles of blue-water sailing behind him (including many storms), Rousmaniere has earned graduate degrees in history and divinity and has written nineteen books (including Fastnet, Force 10 and The Annapolis Book of Seamanship) and hundreds of articles about the sea, beliefs, and the past. He and his wife, mystery writer Leah Ruth Robinson, divide their time between New York and Stamford, Connecticut.

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Rousmaniere, John
Published by McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, NY, U.S.A. (2002)
ISBN 10: 0071377956 ISBN 13: 9780071377959
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