2015 - Rough Crossing: An Alaskan Fisherwoman's Memoir

by Rosemary McGuire

Rough Crossing

2018 WILLA Literary Award Finalists

Knowing next to nothing about fishing, Rosemary McGuire signed on to the crew of the Arctic Storm in Homer, Alaska, looking for money and experience. Cold, hard work and starkly sexist harassment were what she found. Here is her story of life on a fishing boat as the only woman crew member. Both an adult coming-of-age tale and a candid look at the Alaskan fishing industry, this is the story of a woman in a man’s world. Anyone who has ever longed to sail in heavy seas will relish her account of working in an ancient profession that has changed remarkably little over the course of human history.



Rough Crossing: An Alaskan Fisherwoman’s Memoir is worth the price of admission for its stellar prose alone. With lean, forward-moving sentences and a keen eye for essential detail, Rosemary McGuire captures the Alaskan seascape and the nearly unrelenting toil of fishing its dangerous waters so fully that I felt as immersed in the experience as if I were reading Hemingway. But the protagonist here is a young woman, who does not yet know that ‘running away to sea is always about what you run from, a life that seems to have lost its color,’ and it is this running that pulls this already compelling story into the deeper waters of the universal. This is a superb memoir.”?Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog

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