No Ship Sets Out To Be A Shipwreck (Hardcover)

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From the author of the National Book Award finalist The Suicide Index - hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "an extraordinary magical mystery tour of a book" - comes a startlingly original exploration of the unpredictability of fate and the mystery of our own mortality.

No Ship Sets Out To Be A Shipwreck is a poetic and philosophical meditation ignited by a beautiful, frightening, and mysterious object: the seventeenth-century Swedish warship Vasa, which sank only minutes into its maiden voyage, lay forgotten underwater for more than three hundred years, and then was rediscovered by an independent researcher who conceived the improbable idea of raising the ship and building a museum around it.

Beginning with Joan Wickersham's first sight of the ship in the museum in Stockholm, her pieces - intimate, irreverent, urgent - weave together Vasa's story and the surprisingly personal associations it evokes. She addresses the shipbuilders, the divers and restorers, the men and women who drowned in the wreck and the objects they left behind: shoes and cooking pots, game boards and bones. She interrogates the wind that capsized the ship, and engages with the shipworms that failed to eat the wreck. Constantly rising up are the lingering echoes of her father's suicide; memories of her mother's final illness and death; and the paradoxical presence of the ship itself - an emblem of death and rebirth, a monumental failure in its own time whose flaws made it an enduring success, a mysterious vessel both destroyed and preserved by catastrophe.

No Ship Sets Out To Be A Shipwreck is a contemplative, strange, passionate, funny, and haunting book that both is and isn't about the ship - a personal yet universal reckoning with mortality, and with the question of what vanishes and what endures.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781958094532
ISBN-10: 1958094536
Publisher: Eastover Press LLC
Publication Date: September 24th, 2024
Pages: 124
Language: English