Reading the Waves

As icy mornings bring shivers, frosted windows and a longing for blanket warmth, it’s hard to believe that just two months ago we were racing into the Atlantic for a dawn dip. Since then, we’ve been thinking about the role of the ocean in fiction, inspired by our At First Light talk on the sea and creativity. For author and At First Light speaker Tom Vowler, the sea represents a character, an atmosphere, a role that provides more than place, which interacts with the psychology of the characters: "More and more, my characters came to depend on the sea, or sought solace in the sea." So we asked our League of Strangers for some recommendations…add these titles to your list for a dose of sea salt-infused reading.

By: Hazel Beevers,   2 minutes

Tom Vowler, author

“Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea and John Banville’s The Sea are a great place to start…the latter a little too verbose and abstruse for some, although not the Booker panel! The former is devastatingly good.”

Sarah Enamorado, writer

“The sea-themed works that come to my mind are The Many by Wyl Menmuir (of course!), and the short story Salt Slow by Julia Armfield.”

Anna Kiernan, publisher The Literary Platform

The Sing of the Shore by Lucy Wood

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Breath by Tim Winton

At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill

Subsong by Holly Corfield Carr

April Roach, writer

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He.

“This book stayed with me long after I finished reading.

“It is set in a futuristic world where people are only able to gain access to safe housing if their ancestors lived with small carbon footprints. In a world where the privileged live above ground and spend a third of their time in stasis pods, the sea has become something to fear. But for one character, Cee, it is a mysterious enchanting entity and it is her love of the sea that pulls her from the safety of her home into the unknown.

“It achieved the goal that I think most climate disaster novels aim for; it caused me to really think about how my actions contribute to climate change.”

Jon Stone aka (@shotscarecrow), via Twitter   

The Log from the Sea of Cortez by Joseph Steinbeck


Image Credits:

@justinereadsalot (The Sea)

@ynnareads (Hot Milk)

@_lattelibrary (The Ones We’re Meant to Find)

The Many (Stranger Team)

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