Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sarah Toa


Ages ago, I said that Sarah Toa was- in my opinion -  the best writer around in the Bogosphere that I was aware of (with Amy Saia an extremely close second), and now she has been signed up for a book, as she was yelling in my ear a while ago.  My ears are still ringing.

People like this make me wish I was an old-school publisher, but at least the old school renew my faith in their profession, every now and then.

Here's one extract from Sarah's blogs.  Like I keep saying, I can smell the sea when I read it.


Interview with a Fisherwoman - 3

When she was two years old and living on the island, her father would put her in a wicker basket and lower her on a rope down the long walls of granite to the groper hole. 
He was a strong man and a lighthouse keeper. 
He would climb down after her and together they berleyed up crabs and abalone roe.
Some of the groper were as big as he. He’d climb back up the rock with the tracer over his shoulder, hauling the creature out of the sea.
“We used to eat fish every day, and rabbits. Loads of rabbits on Eclipse Island. The Kestrel only came out every few weeks with supplies, firewood, kero, flour, all that stuff, so we ate whatever was around.”
As a family they worked sharking at Hammelin Bay and rarely went past the little island for prey. It has always been a popular holiday spot and I think netting is now banned there. “So many sharks! Right where everyone swam and mucked about.” She showed me a photograph of her as a kid, surrounded in shark carcasses slung from racks and lying in the sand at her feet.
Black and white photographs of huge sharks, the images peeled at the edges, sometimes a date, names and other details neatly typed on a separate piece of paper and glued carefully beneath the fish – I see these pictures often when talking to older fishers. 
Far from macho posings, the commercial fishers tended to take pictures of women wearing shady hats and aprons, or children with bleached, wild hair sitting astride a monster that they hooked off the beach or dragged out of the salmon net. Women and their daughters have always been part of the action.
“I was snigging salmon up the beach when I was two years old,” Ms Mer tells me proudly.





15 comments:

  1. This isn't the piece I was looking for, but anyway...

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  2. She is indeed an awesomwe and highly evocative writer.

    She also catches fish and stands naked on beautiful beaches gazing at the sea. Talk about the perfect woman!

    I'd buy her book.

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    1. That money's spoken for as you well know!

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  3. Splendid. Would you have an extract where she speaks of cushions, curtains, that sort of thing: the stuff of life?

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    1. It's Lifestyle, Jim, but not as we know it.

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  4. That's a gorgeous excerpt. Congratulations Sarah! Well done.

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  5. Can picture her words, and love it. She has a wonderful talent. I agree with yoru opinion. Yes, and I do love Amy Saia and her flow of words also. It seems so easy for them. I guess that is what talent is all about.

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  6. Oops, I meant "your". That is one of the reasons I appreciate good writing. They can type an spell without any errors.

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  7. Not only a good writer but an intelligent one too; not always the case. Does Stephenson & Co also publish French vegetable gardening books?

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    1. No, but we have a scholarly tome on toad management which might suit.

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  8. Gorgeous words. Congratulations, Sarah!!!

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  9. Congratulations to Sarah! With all the drek i see being published these days, it's nice to think that someone who's actually talented and has something to say will have her turn.

    megan

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