People of the Whale: A Novel

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Linda Hogan - People of the Whale

I started reading as much as I could about him, and soon started writing about him. Could you share with readers how you conducted your research or share a few interesting tidbits you learned while researching? Some recent recordings of the 52 hertz whale song suggest that there could be more than one source of the song. They have a huge range of sounds, from very low to very high, and the songs can go on for hours.

What I love most is that a pod will pick up snippets of songs from one in a different region of the world. What are some special challenges associated with introducing a setting your audience might be unfamiliar with? Much of the book takes place aboard an Alaskan cruise, a place not many readers will have seen. I think the challenge is in describing the setting clearly enough for readers to envision it without going on so long that the description drags or takes them out of the story.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take on two week-long interpreting assignments for deaf people taking Alaskan cruises, so that helped a lot with the setting details.

People of the Whale Analysis

One of those assignments was shortly after I started working on the story, and the second was a year later. Some of the more abstruse passages in the novel made sense to me; others did not, even when I reread them several times.

Maybe it helps to be French. The book won the Prix Medicis, and was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt. There are times that the novel seems to be making its way, however discursively, toward some profound, possibly whale-size, revelation. You decide.

by Herman Melville

Please, no, the reader thinks. But maybe the exhaustion and occasional exhilaration of being exposed to so many ideas all at once is a reward in itself, a step closer to whatever truth, or consolation, or cosmic understanding, Haenel believes we all yearn for.

Log In. Moby-Dick confronts our current obsession with self-identification head-on.

Real Shock, Real Reading Pleasure: Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan

Free-Floating Anxiety. To be an American in is to feel threatened from within and without.

We have anxiety about our role in the world and our responsibilities to other Americans, which some people want to solve by electing a monomaniacal Captain Ahab Trump to take the helm and some people want to solve by electing a radical populist Ishmael Sanders. The whole symbolic architecture of Moby-Dick , with its unresolved, polarized conflicts perfectly suits our moment.

Climate Change and the Natural World. In the past, as now, it requires a perfect storm of real and symbolic conflicts to create a full-on Melville revival.