speaking, there are no competitive titles. While there are books
that deal with women in commercial fishing, none of them combine photographs
and essays. There are no photography books about women in commercial
fishing, and there are no books that deal with clam farming or oystering.
off WaterWomen falls in the book category of photographic essays.
Amazon.com lists over 7000 books in this category, indicating that there
is an established market for this type of book.
classic works in this genre are, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by
James Agee and Walker Evans, and The Americans by Robert Frank and
Jack Kerouac. A more recent classic is Richard Avedon's The
off WaterWomen differs from these works in several ways. First
of all, it is only about women, secondly the text is by the people depicted
in the book, and thirdly, the photographs cover a period of almost ten
books dealing with women in commercial fishing, but without photographs,
are: The Entangling Net: Alaska's Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their
Lives by Leslie Leyland Fields; and two books by Linda Greenlaw, Lobster
Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island, and The Hungry Ocean: A
Swordboat Captain's Journey.
Then there are art photography
books who have women as their subjects, such as Women by Annie Leibovitz,
and Wise Women by Joyce Tenneson.
photo essay books about women are, Believing In Ourselves A Celebration
Of Women by Nancy Carson, Daughters and Mothers by Jayne
Wexler, Lauren Cowen, and Sisters by Carol Saline, Sharon J. Wohlmuth.
of the books listed above have the combined impact of photographs and text
Reflections off WaterWomen has. Many of them lack the intimate
insight of WaterWomen. In all cases, the photographs were
made by 'outsiders' and often in a relatively hurried manner. In
those cases, where the photographs are strong, the text is often weak and
inadequate. In all cases, the text is supplied by a professional
writer, and if the voices of the women are heard, they are filtered through
the writer. This technique may make for a uniform presentation, but
it robs the subjects of their individuality.