Friday, October 1, 2010

An Exploration

Artist, writer, and conservationist James Prosek made his authorial debut at the age of 19 with Trout: an Illustrated History, which featured 70 of his watercolor paintings of the trout of North America. Prosek has shown his paintings throughout the U.S. and has written for the New York Times and National Geographic. He won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the 17th century author of The Compleat Angler. His book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, was recently published by HarperCollins. I was privileged to receive a copy of the manuscript and found the content to be fascinating. This new book is an exploration of a special yet "uncharismatic" creature but I couldn't help feeling that it was as much about a transformational journey for James as well. Check out the review in Yale Environment 360. You can read more about eels in articles that James wrote for National Geographic and Orion Magazine. Also attached is a video called eel•water•rock•man that highlights a unique individual named Ray Turner who has spent his lifetime harvesting wild eels with an ancient stone weir on the East Branch of the Delaware River. Take some time and review the eel topic further and consider picking up a copy of the new book. I think you'll find this exploration to be fascinating too.

eel•water•rock•man from Orion Magazine on Vimeo.


John Frankot said...

Congratulations, James!

These are by far my favorite theme of post ... an individual living a life through passion. And, success, and failure, is simply a part of the journey, not a destination.

Live on!

Anonymous said...

A beauty !!! Its too much hard work to translate in french,I wish I wasn't so lazy ... I put a link on our facebook page !
Congrats for your blog, it's one of the bests !
Toght lines

El Pescador said...

thanks for the input john and cyril. i'm glad you guys liked this post. the eel is a special creature and james knows it. share your thoughts if you read his book.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Steve for this post. As you know I've been interested in Eels for a long time. They are a fish that is as important to our freshwater ecosystems as our beloved trout and salmon, fish that make epic migrations from the ocean where they are born, to freshwater rivers to feed and grow, and back again. As you know I like to seek out and investigate strange topics, and the eel is a strange fish. It doesn't fit into any neat category in our minds (is it snake or fish or what?) and I think for that reason, along with its sliminess it is often ignored. Also the characters that seem to be attracted to eels are a little slippery and strange themselves, so that was another aspect that appealed to me in working on this project!

James Prosek

El Pescador said...

You're welcome James. I wish your book (and the eels) much success. Thanks for all the support and contributions you've given to Way Upstream. Your desire to help us understand creatures in need is heroic. Keep up the good fight.

El Pescador said...

Sunday NY Times book review by Paul Greenberg, "Slither Room" -

El Pescador said...

If any big apple community members want to hear james talk about his new book, he'll be speaking at the explorers club tonight. check this link for tickets/details -