Author: Sabrina Imbler
Narrator: Sabrina Imbler
Publication: December 6, 2022 by Little, Brown & Company
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Science
Find it on: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Apple Books | Kobo
A miraculous, transcendental book. Sabrina Imbler is a generational talent, and this book is a gift to us all.” — ED YONG, New York Times Bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes
A queer, mixed race writer working in a largely white, male field, science and conservation journalist Sabrina Imbler has always been drawn to the mystery of life in the sea, and particularly to creatures living in hostile or remote environments. Each essay in their debut collection profiles one such creature: the mother octopus who starves herself while watching over her eggs, the Chinese sturgeon whose migration route has been decimated by pollution and dams, the bizarre Bobbitt worm (named after Lorena), and other uncanny creatures lurking in the deep ocean, far below where the light reaches. Imbler discovers that some of the most radical models of family, community, and care can be found in the sea, from gelatinous chains that are both individual organisms and colonies of clones to deep-sea crabs that have no need for the sun, nourished instead by the chemicals and heat throbbing from the core of the Earth. Exploring themes of adaptation, survival, sexuality, and care, and weaving the wonders of marine biology with stories of their own family, relationships, and coming of age, How Far the Light Reaches is a book that invites us to envision wilder, grander, and more abundant possibilities for the way we live.
“More than anything, I wanted to know why the octopus, with her big and alien brain, did not eat while she brooded her eggs. I couldn’t imagine how a creature with a consciousness would starve for four and a half years without something like hope. What I mean to say is: I wanted to know whether she ever regretted it.”
How Far the Light Reaches is a collection of ten essays where Sabrina Imbler describes significant moments in their life in a profoundly personal way and connects those moments with marine life.
The author alternates between a poignant memoir and a narration about sea creatures and how it all relates to them. In the essays they handled topics like sexuality, race, consent, gender and more in a blunt and proficient way. Their reflectation of growing up biracial and queer was extremely well-written and engrossing. I just know many people are going to relate to her story so much.
The writing they did about the sea creatures was equally absorbing to read about. From goldfish to sturgeon to sperm whales, I was completely fascinated. And on top of that it was all so beautifully written. Sabrina Imbler also narrated the audiobook and did a fantastic job at it.
Blunt, vulnerable and cleverly written, How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures is a brilliant combination of science and memoir that everyone should at least read once.
TW for this book: sexual asault, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, alcohol abuse
About the author:
Sabrina Imbler is currently a staff writer at Defector, an employee-owned sports and culture website, where they cover creatures. Previously Sabrina worked as a reporting fellow on the science and health desk of The New York Times. They have received fellowships or scholarships from Tin House, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Jack Jones Literary Arts.
This sounds amazing! I love that the author adds their own experiences with interesting stories about sealife. Very cool!
It really was amazing. I love how she wrote a memoir but it was also kind of a science read. Jusy really well done!
How fascinating to be able to connect human and marine life!
Yes, so unique but it really fit with her personal story.
I have not heard of this. I loved that quote you included, it shows how intense the writing is.
It was my favorite quote from the book 🙂