Author: Lamorna Ash
From an adventurous and discerning new voice reminiscent of Robert Macfarlane, a captivating portrait of a community eking out its living in a coastal landscape as stark and storied as it is beautiful.
Before arriving in Newlyn, a Cornish fishing village at the end of the railway line, Lamorna Ash was told that no fisherman would want a girl joining an expedition. Weeks later, the only female on board a trawler called the Filadelfia, she is heading out to sea with the dome of the sky above and the black waves below.
Newlyn is a town of dramatic cliffs, crashing tides, and hardcore career fishermen-complex and difficult heroes who slowly open up to Ash about their lives and frustrations, first in the condensed space of the boat, and then in the rough pubs ashore. Determined to know the community on its own terms, Ash lodges in a spare room by the harbor and lets the village wash over her in all of its clamoring unruliness, thumping machinery, and tangled nets-its history, dialect, and centuries-old industry.
Moving between Ash's surprising, transformational journey aboard the Filadelfia and her astute observations of Newlyn's landscape and people, Dark, Salt, Clear is an assured work of indelible characters and a multilayered travelogue through a landscape both lovely and merciless. Ash's adventurous glint, her delicate observations, and her willingness to get under the skin of a place call to mind the work of Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, and Robert Macfarlane. This is an evocative journey and a fiercely auspicious debut.