Sweet Brackish Salt by Marike Finlay


Sweet Brackish Salt is a quest novel told from the perspective of a feminized gender non-conforming seafarer who works through various myths, encounters and kinds of water — sweet, brackish and salt — to arrive at a more robust and nuanced self-understanding.

Setting out in the off-season for the Great Lakes (Sweet), the narrator initially tries on various forms of idealized self-sufficiency and heroism typical of masculinist sea stories. Such projects soon founder, however, in the Chesapeake (Brackish), as she begins to learn what it means to navigate history and to care and take care in the face of life and death.

These lessons are not enough, though; it will take the help of an entire rural coastal community in Nova Scotia (Salt) to bring an old wooden schooner to life again, and along with it, another model for making, being and sailing. In this tale a skipper is not a hero but a diva who turns traumatic events into yarns; she can also only really sail away once she admits to how much she needs the company and support of others on land.

ISBN associated with this title: 9781990770296
Item PC0362
Publisher Pottersfield Press
Publisher Pottersfield Press
Published on August 29 2023
Language ENG
Pages 140
Format Paperback
Dimensions 8.5(in) x 5.5(in)
Shipping weight 203(g)

Marike Finlay has skippered sailing voyages from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean along the Canadian and American eastern seaboard; she also spent many seasons sailing in the Pacific from Panama to Southeast Alaska. Most recently, she has been sailing in the Mediterranean.

After teaching literature and communications at McGill University for two decades, working as a psychoanalyst and developing an organic farm in Quebec, she moved to Nova Scotia?s Eastern Shore where, when not voyaging, she works as a writer and an environmental and rural coastal activist.

The author of numerous academic books and articles, Finlay is most proud of her collection of short stories, The Killing Ear, and an illustrated history of the Lunenburg Foundry, Casting a Legend, which was co-authored with Karin Cope. Cope and Finlay have also long maintained a blog on sailing in British Columbia with a political and environmental focus, entitled West by East (https://quoddysrun.ca/).