Sea State: A Memoir

Tabitha Lasley. Ecco, $27.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-06-303083-1
In this breathtaking debut, Lasley, a former journalist, interrogates class, love, and politics as she chronicles the months she spent interviewing offshore oil riggers in Aberdeen, Scotland. When asked by her former editor why she was interested in writing about oil rigs, Lasley replied, “I want to see what men are like with no women around.” In the year leading up to Britain’s exit from the European Union, Lasley—spurred by a bad breakup and a home robbery leading to the theft of her laptop and the book she’d been writing on it—quit her job at a London magazine and moved to Aberdeen to embark on her investigation. For six months, she conducted interviews with 103 oil riggers, mostly in bars, but her dalliance with her first interview subject, a married man named Caden, sent her original plan to hear out an industry of men who “felt like no one was listening” into a tailspin. Rendered in irresistible prose, her whirlwind affair becomes a humanizing subplot and an arresting character study of the prototypical oil rigger, one who compartmentalizes home and work, wife and mistress, lavish spending and crushing isolation. The result is a compassionate portrayal of what it takes to survive an inhospitable corner of the world. Agent: Tracy Bohan, the Wylie Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/03/2021
Release date: 12/07/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-06-303085-5
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