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176 pp., 10 x 9, 109 duotones, 6 figs., 1 map, glossary, bibl., index

ISBN  978-1-4696-1064-1
Published: October 2013

The Workboats of Core Sound

Stories and Photographs of a Changing World

Written and photographed by Lawrence S. Earley

Along the wide waters of eastern North Carolina, the people of many scattered villages separated by creeks, marshes, and rivers depend on shallow-water boats, both for their livelihoods as fishermen and to maintain connections with one another and with the rest of the world. As Lawrence S. Earley discovered, each workboat has stories to tell, of boatbuilders and fishermen, and of family members and past events associated with these boats. The rich history of these hand-built wooden fishing boats, the people who work them, and the communities they serve lies at the heart of Earley's evocative new book of essays, interviews, and photographs.

In conversations with the region's fishermen and boatbuilders, the author finds webs of decades-old social history and realizes that workboats are critical in maintaining a community's memories and its very sense of identity. Including nearly 100 of Earley's own striking duotones, this richly illustrated book brings to life the world of a fishing culture threatened by local and global forces.

About the Author

Lawrence S. Earley is a writer and photographer living in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is author of Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest.


"Earley's black-and-white photographs. . . . do an excellent job of highlighting Down East fishing culture."
--Publishers Weekly

“Not only a beautiful photography book that’s pleasing to look at but one that will prove a valuable record of a way of life that might not be around much longer.”
--Sea History

"An extraordinary collection of writing and photographs."
--Durham Herald-Sun

"An important book, both a wonderful tribute to Down East fishing communities and a wrenching testament to the changes associated with forces far beyond a fisherman's control."
--Barbara Garrity-Blake, Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, N.C.

"I'll never look at a boat moored in a bay again and just see 'a boat.' I'll always wonder about the web of builders, fishermen, and local families whose lives are connected to it, sometimes over generations. Earley has brought these boats to life in a way nobody ever has."
--David Cecelski, author of The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves' Civil War

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