Fathoms: The World in the Whale

Author(s): Rebecca Giggs

Science & Nature | What We're Reading | Stella Prize 2021

A work of bright and careful genius. Equal parts Rebecca Solnit and Annie Dillard, Giggs masterfully combines lush prose with conscientious history and boots-on-the-beach reporting. With Giggs leading us gently by the hand we dive down, and down, and down, into the dark core of the whale, which, she convincingly reveals, is also the guts of the world.

Read an extract from Fathoms here: https://thestellaprize.com.au/2021/03/rebecca-giggs-reading/

Staff Review - Rachael

Some books are revelations, and Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs is one of those books.

Giggs takes us from the global history of whaling, from therapeutic bathing in whale carcasses in Eden through to the ecological crises—climate change and mounting plastic pollution—now facing our oceans and Earth's largest inhabitants. Despite the focus on what seems and very often feels, like a hopeless situation, Fathoms is  crammed with philosophical wonder and hope.

It's hard not to feel small in the grand scheme of things when reading that solar activity causes geomagnetic mountains, these unfathomable underwater mountains, to shift and alter the behaviour and possibly even the migratory routes of whales. In spite of these gargantuan facts, this book will not make you feel insignificant—Fathoms interrogates our relationship to the natural world and the animals that we share our space with.

While Fathoms is a book that may turn you into an obnoxious fountain of whale facts, it is also suffused with lyrical and insightful nature writing, and it will make you care about the world around you—seeable and unseeable—even more than you could imagine.


Product Information







General Fields

  • : 9781925321388
  • : Scribe Publications
  • : Scribe Publications
  • : April 2020
  • : 23.4 X 15.3
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rebecca Giggs
  • : Paperback
  • : Apr-20
  • : English
  • : 352