Ahab's Rolling Sea

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Although Herman Melville's 'Moby-Dick' is beloved as one of the most profound and enduring works of American fiction, we rarely consider it a work of nature writing - or even a novel of the sea. Yet Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard avers 'Moby-Dick' is the 'best book ever written about nature', and nearly the entirety of the story is set on the waves, with scarcely a whiff of land. In fact, Ishmael's sea yarn is in conversation with the nature writing of Emerson and Thoreau, and Melville himself did much more than live for a year in a cabin beside a pond. He set sail: to the far remote Pacific Ocean, spending more than three years at sea before writing his masterpiece in 1851. A revelation for 'Moby-Dick' devotees and neophytes alike, 'Ahab's Rolling Sea' is a chronological journey through the natural history of Melville's novel.