Move Like Water | Granta

  • Published: 01/06/2023
  • ISBN: 9781783788590
  • Granta Books
  • 272 pages

Move Like Water

Hannah Stowe

The seas cover over two thirds of our planet and yet most of us live our lives on land, creatures of a different element, at once fascinated and terrified by the beauty and power of these great bodies of water. There are some, though, who go to sea, who get to know its many moods – the tranquil and glittering, the raging and ripple-swept – and who bring back with them their stories of wonder and warning. Hannah Stowe is one such sea-goer and one such storyteller.
Raised at the tide’s edge on the Pembrokeshire coast, Stowe went to sea straight after school and has worked on and studied the ocean in depth ever since. She has navigated some of the most beautiful waters on our planet, but she has also experienced the sea’s fearsome force at first hand, having been thrown from her surfboard and left with ongoing spinal injuries. In shimmering, fluid prose, Stowe weaves together the story of her own changing relationship to the sea with the bigger story of the damage we have done to its ecosystems and the lessons we can learn from its rich ecological variety and its unceasing ebb and flow. As Stowe introduces us to six totemic marine creatures – the fire crow, the sperm whale, the wandering albatross, the humpback whale, the shearwater and the barnacle – she encourages us to fall in love with the seas as she has, to appreciate their majesty and their vulnerability. This is a heartfelt hymn to the sea and an unforgettable introduction to one of the most gifted nature writers of the new generation.

Elegant, enthralling... There are plenty of books about the sea, but few, if any, have the lyrical, almost visceral intensity of this one... Stowe's shimmering prose - and her exquisite line drawings - make us feel the majesty of the sea and its creatures. It also reveals their terrifying vulnerability

Daily Mail

Above all a sensuous book, more felt than described, more described than explained, more painted than penned: part memoir, part journal and - with each chapter named for a creature the author encountered either in real life or in dreams - part natural mystery tour

New York Times Book Review

A haunting evocation of [the sea's] power and beauty, and an exploration of its wildlife... [Stowe's] prose is beautiful, conjuring the storybook setting of her upbringing, the salt spray of the sea and the wonder of travelling alongside whales and sea birds while also imparting scientific knowledge

Western Mail

The Author

Hannah Stowe graduated with a BSc Hons in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology from Plymouth University, and is currently studying for an MSc in Marine Conservation. She is also an artist and yoga teacher. She currently lives in Dresden.

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