[UCP Books]: Swordfish: A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator

Richard Ellis has to be the most productive and wide-minded person writing about the oceans today.”

Carl Safina, author of The View from Lazy Point


A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator

Richard Ellis

Publication date: April 30, 2013 978-0-226-92290-4
International publication date: May 6, 2013 $26.00/£17.00

Traveling the oceans at speeds of sixty miles per hour despite weighing as much as seven hundred pounds, the swordfish is the hard-won trophy of many a sportfisher and the favorite dish of many a discriminating diner. Though the majesty and allure of this warrior fish has commanded much attention, no one has yet been bold enough to truly take on the swordfish as a biographer. Until now. In Swordfish, master of marine natural history Richard Ellis offers his ode to this mighty fighter.
The swordfish, whose scientific name means “gladiator,” can take on anyone and anything, including ships, boats, sharks, submarines, divers, and whales, and in this book Ellis regales us with tales of its vitality and strength. Ellis’s detailed and fascinating fact-filled biography takes us behind the swordfish’s huge, cornflower-blue eyes and provides a complete history of the fish from prehistoric fossils to its present-day endangerment, as our taste for swordfish has had a drastic effect on their population the world over. Throughout, the book is graced with many of Ellis’s own drawings and paintings, which capture the allure of the fish and bring its splendor and power to life for armchair fishermen and landlocked readers alike.
Richard Ellis lives in New York and is the author of more than twenty books on marine life, including Great White Shark, Men and Whales, Monsters of the Sea, The Encyclopedia of the Sea, Deep Atlantic, The Search for the Giant Squid, The Empty Ocean, Tuna: A Love Story, The Great Sperm Whale, and Shark: A Visual History. A renowned painter of marine natural history, his paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and have appeared in such publications as Skin Diver, Audubon, National Wildlife, National Geographic, and the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as his own books. He is available for interviews. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at (773) 702-4216 or cadams@press.uchicago.edu


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