By turns epic and intimate, TELLING OUR WAY TO THE SEA: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez by Aaron Hirsh captures the complex beauty of both the marine world he explores and the people he explores it with.
When Hirsh, fellow biologist Veronica Volny, and historian of science Graham Burnett lead twelve college students to a remote fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, they come upon a bay of dazzling beauty and richness. But as the group pursues various threads of investigation—ecological and evolutionary studies of the sea, the desert, and their various species of animals and plants; the stories of local villagers; the journals of conquistadors and explorers—they recognize that the bay, spectacular and pristine though it seems, is but a ghost of what it once was.
"In prose that marries lush scientific details and poetic language (complete with transfixing descriptions of sea cucumber regeneration), Hirsh delivers an important work about the power of place and the power of stories—scientific, historical, and personal—to shape our understanding of our world." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Daily Beast featured it in "This Week’s Hot Reads: August 5, 2013." They said,
"Skill as a scientist and skill as a writer rarely inhabit the same person, but when they do, the results can be incredible. [...] There is all sorts to enjoy here: adventure, exploration, local history, rigorous science patiently explained, even some sections about conquistadors (it’ll make sense when you get there), all told in deft prose. But what binds this book is Hirsh’s infectious enthusiasm."
Download the chapbook here (PDF).
TELLING OUR WAY TO THE SEA is now available from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.