Download Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island Audiobook

Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island Audiobook, by Earl Swift Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Earl Swift Narrator: Tom Parks Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2018 ISBN: 9780062858245
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A brilliant, soulful, and timely portrait of a two-hundred-year-old crabbing community along the Chesapeake Bay facing extinction because of climate change—part natural history, part paean to a vanishing way of life, and part meditation on man’s relationship with nature—from a Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist and the author of The Big Roads

Tangier Island, a 1.3 square mile spit of land in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia, is a unique American small town. Most of its residents in this natural wonderland speak a distinct dialect passed down from their ancestors, English settlers who arrived in the seventeenth century. In this “the soft-shell crab capital of the world,” the economy has for decades revolved around blue crabs, and nearly everyone on Tangier—home to less than a thousand men, women, and children—is connected to the crabbing business.

Yet this place where neighbors know each other and doors aren’t locked is disappearing; only four feet above sea level, it is losing fifteen feet of shoreline each year due to rising seas. Poised to become the first climate change casualty in the United States, the island could be uninhabitable in twenty years or less, barring widespread and extraordinarily expensive intervention from the federal government, some experts believe.

Chesapeake Requiem is a poignant, inside look at the past, present, and tenuous future of Tangier Island. Acclaimed journalist Earl Swift has spent much of the last two years living in this quaint and charmingly insular community that offers a few restaurants, two bed and breakfasts, and one ATM. Interweaving the story of Tangier’s remarkable past with the first-person stories of crabbers and others who make their living from the sea, it is a bittersweet and eye-opening look at a world that has, quite nearly, gone by—and a crisis that will eventually impact all Americans, regardless of their views on climate change.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A moving account of a vanishing place, sure to satisfy anyone concerned with climate change, environmental issues, and anthropology.”

    Library Journal

  • “A graceful melding of history, nature writing, and perceptive cultural commentary…A well-rendered narrative about how one specific island’s fate stands as a warning for all coastal regions.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This is a powerful book. We need a replacement for the tired ‘canaries in a coal mine,’ and sadly ‘fishermen on Tangier Island’ will probably do. Fascinating people, clinging loyally to a fascinating and lovely place, even as the waters rise—Earl Swift’s Chesapeake Requiem is a tale of our time, movingly told. Perhaps it will inspire some of us living safe on higher ground to more action on behalf of those at risk.”

    Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

  • “Wonderful, poetic, stirring writing. This lovely book is an elegy to a disappearing way of life and a rumination on the coming global upheaval from climate-change-driven sealevel rise. The story of Tangier Island, so beautifully described by Earl Swift, will soon be repeated in a place near you.”

    Callum Roberts, marine conservation biologist and author of The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea

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About the Author

Author Earl Swift

Journalist Earl Swift has written five books, including The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways (2011). Since 2012 he has been a residential fellow of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia.

About the Narrator

Tom Parks is an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator who has also been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been involved in recording audiobooks and voice-overs for over thirty years and through an eclectic range of projects. In addition to performing and directing, he is also an active musician, drumming in musical theater productions in the Midwest, and is in demand as a conference speaker.