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Cover of "cold latitudes"

Cold Latitudes

In the end, this is a love story for a threatened place.

From solo voyages down the Yukon River and part of the Northwest Passage, to working with humpback whales in the Southern Ocean, to chilling encounters with polar bears, Cold Latitudes is a memoir in essay form based on years of working in the Alaska Arctic and Antarctica. The author was privileged to see firsthand worlds that few will ever know, while participating in cutting-edge research at high latitudes.

It is her friendships with local people, and with scientific researchers, that form the core of her experiences. Through these people, she learns humility and a sense of wonder at the natural world. Throughout, she examines human relationships with wilderness and our growing effects on a fragile planet.

Cover of "Rough Crossing"

Rough Crossing: An Alaskan Fisherwoman's Memoir

River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize
2018 WILLA Literary Award Finalist in Creative Nonfiction from Women Writing the West
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.
"The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea" Book Cover

The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea (The Alaska Literary Series)

A man witnesses a tragic accident that calls his own life into question. A young woman meets her high school sweetheart after many years and seeks to make sense of the separate paths they’ve taken. A soldier home from Iraq tries to rebuild his life in a remote Alaskan village. These are fishing stories, told as such stories are meant to be: simple, often coarse, and tinged with the elemental beauty of the sea. They reflect rugged lives lived on the edge of the ocean’s borders, where grief and grace ride the same waves. Rosemary McGuire, a fisherman herself, captures the essential humanity at the heart of each tale. No one comes through unscathed, but all retain a sense of hope and belief in earthly miracles, however humble. A dazzling debut, The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea will leave readers with a sense of the fragility and beauty inherent in eroded lives spent in proximity to danger.

Praise for The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea


“Make way for a terrific new voice from Alaska! McGuire’s short fictions are as authentic as they come—drawn from a life steeped in rural Alaska and commercial fishing, deeply imagined. Her language is luminous, and her characters—rough, innocent, tragic, fully human—are unforgettable.”

— Nancy Lord, former Alaska writer laureate and author of Fishcamp, Beluga Days, and The Man Who Swam with Beavers

“Emotional snapshots of life in coastal Alaska’s fishing communities form the focus of McGuire’s short-story compilation, The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea. The stories juxtapose the rugged and unforgiving landscape of rocky coasts and tumultuous waters with the characters’ inner lives of love and loss. . . . McGuire herself has more than a decade of experience in the fishing industry, and this shows in the authenticity of her voice. Her characters are not scholarly or verbose but working class. They feel deeply, and directly, and she writes them with appropriate bluntness and candor.”

Foreword Reviews

“The Creatures at the Absolutely Bottom of the Sea is well worth seeking out. The language is beautiful, the tone is haunting, none of the stories overstay their welcome, and its melancholy but passionate love of the sea is liable to linger long after you put it down.”

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

“It’s dark work for certain, but all of it is finely crafted by McGuire’s writing. . . .In rendering the sea an inanimate entity she lends it character. By being nobody, it becomes somebody. Perfectly tuned paragraphs like this one are found throughout the book. Rarely is Alaska’s essential nature so well captured, and she does it without superlatives or clichés.”

Alaska Dispatch

Praise for Rough Crossing

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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