Cover for FIELDS: The Entangling Net: Alaska's Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives

The Entangling Net

Alaska's Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives

"Truly remarkable portraits of courage." -- John van Amerongen, editor, Alaska Fisherman's Journal

"These little-known tales of women working in Alaska's commercial fishing industry make for great reading. . . . Readers will be amazed by their stories." -- Laine Welch, Alaska Fish Radio

"A richly textured story, a multi-genre text that invites readers to witness women's conversation with America's last frontier, Alaska." -- Patricia Foster, University of Iowa

Why do women choose an occupation that has been ranked the most dangerous in the nation? What do women give up--and get in return--when they take on the tasks of fishermen? The Entangling Net explores these issues through the stories of twenty women who have chosen to work in this extremely risky, male-dominated profession.

Leslie Leyland Fields lyrically weaves their stories with her own experiences as a fishing woman. She tells of long, exhausting days in skiffs, catching fish in brutally cold weather on waters that are often violent. Her words and those of the women she interviews convey the paradoxical relationship the women have with commercial fishing: they face extraordinarily difficult working conditions made more difficult and dangerous by male crews and skippers who don't welcome women, yet they feel impelled by the challenge of the work to return to their jobs season after season.

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