How cool is this? You can win a SIGNED ADVANCE Copy of the sensational forthcoming memoir by Dr. Stephen Spotte, MY WATERY SELF: MEMOIRS OF A MARINE SCIENTIST (978-1-941110-16-4 (Trade Paper) 978-1-941110-17-1 (ebook), 168 pages, available March 10, 2015).
In MY WATERY SELF, author/scientist Stephen Spotte traces a fascinating trail through a life that began in West Virgina coal camps, drifted through reckless bohemian times of countercultural indulgence in Beach Haven, New Jersey, and led to a career as a highly-respected marine biologist. Together, these stories form a view not just of one man’s life, but that of a generation that often refused to take a direct path to the workplace, insisting instead on a winding unveiling of true self-realization, to achieve previously-unimagined outcomes. For Spotte, the key was water: His years of beach living led to a self-initiated study of literature and the sea. He eventually returned to college and received his training as a marine biologist, and discovered, through his singular voice, a wet and occasionally very weird perspective on the world. His writing is engrossing throughout, the stories he shares–such as his stint as curator of the New York Aquarium at Coney Island at the tail end of the hippie era–are compelling and thoroughly enjoyable as he elevates the people and situations he encounters to mythical levels, blending empirical observation with literary prose.
Advance Praise for MY WATERY SELF by Stephen Spotte
“In his fascinating and unforgettable memoir, Steve Spotte reflects with unique eloquence upon his many accomplishments and misadventures as a marine biologist who is also part pirate and part poet . . . I flat out love this book, and cannot praise it highly enough. MY WATERY SELF reads like no other, managing a singular, irreverant voice that places it firmly in a class all its own. For starters, imagine Lloyd Bridges on acid playing the Jacques Costeau role in the movie of his life.” —Chuck Kinder, author, Honeymooners, A Cautionary Tale
“He doesn’t say so, but of course Stephen Spotte knows that his watery self animates a body of water—his body, the one we find adrift through these pages, seeking its own level in the spirit of camaraderie and adventure and, yes, science too. But the real action here is beneath the surface” —Joe Amato, author, Samuel Taylor’s Last Night
“Most scientists do not write memoirs, especially ones that might make the reader wonder, with all the associated ‘wild’ experiences with alcohol and chemicals, how the biographer ever became a bonafide professional scientist. . . . A spectrum of thrills.” —from the Introduction by Robin M. Overstreet, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Coastal Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi
“From a whale capture off the Arctic Hudson in Manitoba; to acid-tinged lifeguarding off Jersey; to Coney Island’s Aquarium and Osborn Lab, which he curated; to Niagara Falls, where he built his first aquarium. . . . A scientist who never lost his feel for the fluidity also available in the play of language—and people . . . a fine ride.” —Kass Fleisher, author, The Bear River Massacre and the Making of History