W&N to publish marine biologist's memoir

W&N to publish marine biologist's memoir

Weidenfeld & Nicolson is publishing Spring Tides: A Story From a Small Island, a memoir of the sea, island life and preserving the marine habitats of the Isle of Man by marine biologist and poet Dr Fiona Gell.

Editorial director Maddy Price acquired world rights in Spring Tides from Gaia Banks of Sheil Land Associates Ltd.

The book, the product of over 20 years of studying the sea and trying to protect it, is the story of Gell's journey to protect Ramsey Bay as the Isle of Man’s first Marine Nature Reserve.

The synopsis reads: "Fiona grew up on the island in a family with a strong maritime tradition and developed a lifelong love of the sea. After 12 years away studying and working as a marine biologist, she returned, determined to use her experiences of how marine conservation can benefit nature and people to make a difference at home. With her young son she has experienced the coasts and coves of the island afresh, watching for basking sharks and harbour porpoises, discovering eelgrass meadows and kelp forests and combing the beach for mermaid’s purses and whelks’ egg cases. With scientific insight and spellbinding prose, she perfectly captures the wonder of island life, the transformative power of the sea, and how vital it is that we protect it for future generations."

Gell, a published poet with a PhD in marine ecology, grew up on the Isle of Man and has over 20 years’ experience working in marine science and conservation. For 13 years she was the marine biodiversity officer for the Isle of Man government and now works on climate change and ecosystem policy.

She said: "I’m very excited to be sharing the wonders of the Isle of Man’s marine life. The diversity of our seas is astonishing and I hope my book will take the reader beneath the surface and into another world. I’ve learnt so much on my journey from sea-loving child to scientist to conservationist. This book has also been an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with the sea and how a healthy ocean could help us face an uncertain future."

Maddy Price, W&N editorial director, said: "I was utterly captivated by the beauty of Fiona’s writing from the first page of this book. Her descriptions of the Isle of Man and the secret world under the sea are mesmerising. This book is re-wilding for the sea, for readers of The Outrun and The Salt Path. It absolutely stands alongside those books in terms of the beauty of its prose, and Fiona’s scientific background means we learn an incredible amount along the way as well."

Spring Tides will be published in spring 2022 in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio.