Moving Water

Joan Skogan has written a deeply perceptive novel about life in and around the modern Canadian fishing industry. To those who know her previous, and now sadly out of print, non-fiction work "Voyages At Sea With Strangers", this beautifully eloquent work comes as no surprise. In "Moving Water", Joan writes the woman’s perspective of the fishing life both as one who has waited at home and as one who has gone to sea. She has an acute sensitivity to the rocky inland coast of British Columbia in both its ancient stories from aboriginal history and in those of its contemporary cast of coastal characters.

Joan takes those of us who have been there caressingly over familiar territory while those who have not travelled the passes and inlets will be given a privileged seat in the wheelhouses, galleys and kitchens where stories are told that inform life.

Skogan doesn’t limit herself to the inside waters of the BC coast, letting her novel’s character Rose Bachmann go to sea as a Department of Fisheries and Ocean observer on black cod trap boats and joint venture factory trawlers. Even here she takes us further into the Pacific distances through the tales told on the trawl deck by homesick Russian sailors. "Moving Water" is a major contribution to British Columbia’s literary tradition at the same time as it takes a place of honour among fishing novels.

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