Beckoned by the Sea

Beckoned by the Sea

Women at Work on the Cascadia Coast

By (author): Sylvia Taylor
Foreword by: Renée Saklikar
ISBN 9781772031799
Softcover | Publication Date: June 7, 2017
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
288 Pages
$19.95 CAD
E-Book Price: $15.99 CAD

About the Book

A rich and diverse tapestry weaving together the many voices, narratives, skills, and talents of women up and down the coastal Pacific Northwest who devote their lives and careers to the sea.

Beckoned by the Sea celebrates coastal women from northern BC to northern California who work on or with the sea. The twenty-four women featured in this inspiring and fascinating book represent a variety of industries—from conservation, commercial fishing, and marine biology to safety and rescue, tourism, and the arts.

Weaving together elements of social history, culture, geography, and environmentalism, author Sylvia Taylor draws on in-depth interviews, meticulous research, and her own experience as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat. Beckoned by the Sea investigates the myriad ways in which women have contributed to the marine industries that sustain the people and shape the culture of North America’s west coast—and reveals how the sea itself has touched the lives of these women by giving them not just a livelihood but an infinite source of inspiration and personal fulfillment.

About the Author(s)

Sylvia Taylor is an award-winning author, editor, and educator. In addition to her first book, The Fisher Queen: A Deckhand’s Tales of the BC Coast, she has published over four hundred articles and literary pieces in various publications. Taylor currently sits on the board of the Arts Council of Surrey and is a past president and former executive director of the Federation of BC Writers. She teaches writing-related programs and has served on the jury of numerous literary competitions, including the 2013 BC Book Awards in Creative Non-fiction. She lives in Greater Vancouver, BC.


“A worthy read. Sylvia Taylor has respectfully researched and written a wonderful tribute to the women who share their souls and tell their compelling stories about all things marine in Beckoned by the Sea." —Margo Bates, author; past president, Canadian Authors―Metro Vancouver
"Sylvia Taylor has corralled twenty-four remarkable women of the sea, embedding their stories of growth and adventure in a thoughtful narrative of the times, places, and disciplines. Motivational and entertaining, this book is to be enjoyed and passed on, especially to Millennial readers." —Louis Druehl, writer and marine botanist
"Sylvia Taylor presents a masterful portrait of twenty-four women whose lives are entwined with the waters of Cascadia from British Columbia to California. Her insightful and multi-faceted revealing of this unique bioregion ties these stories together and connects the reader to our most precious resource in a compelling and personal narrative." —Rupert Macnee, documentary film producer
"Beckoned by the Sea is diverse, powerful, raw—words that describe both the ocean itself and the collective voices of two dozen women whose compelling stories Taylor brings to life in this vivid work. Taylor adeptly purses her prose to let the voices of these accomplished women drive the narrative and enrich our portrait of Cascadia. It’s an important book that sheds light on the long overlooked role of women in maritime industries and will hopefully inspire the next generation of female seafarers." —Eric Enno Tamm, author, Beyond the Outer Shores and The Horse That Leaps through Clouds
"Beckoned by the Sea is a beautiful exploration of the ocean through the eyes of women who have devoted themselves to it. Taylor does a captivating job of portraying twenty-four seafaring women with iconic Cascadia coast livelihoods, from captaining tugboats to harvesting kelp to building boats. This book not only gives us an insider’s perspective of careers sculpted by water, but the passion and inspiration that drives women to commit their lives to it." —Julie Angus, author of Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey across a Changing Atlantic Ocean and Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit That Seduced the World
"Amazing women, an amazing landscape, an amazing book!" —Mark Leiren-Young, author, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World and Never Shoot a Stampede Queen
“Much in Beckoned by the Sea is relevant to a new generation of west coast women. … And so along with the expected, and nonetheless gratifying, stories of big seas, greasy engine rooms, and slime skirmishes, Taylor includes profiles of women working as sustainable seafood entrepreneurs, sailing instructors, marine biologists, elected officials, and community activists, among many others.” —Molly Clarkson, BC Booklook
“Taylor’s cadence is solemn and stops just shy of worship. Her words are soft and carefully chosen. The tone is set as you embark on a new meditation in each category, or, in each facet of Cascadia. It’s intentional and, for the reader, soothing in a way, to be sung to like this. She loves this subject, she delighted in it as she wrote, and the reader reaps the benefits.” —Anne Bryant, Wooden Boat Magazine
"The book is useful as a source of oral histories of women living around and off the sea off the Cascadian coast, particularly in British Columbia. It also offers a nice set of readings for undergraduate courses in Gender Studies or Environmental Studies."—Annie Booth, BC Studies