Magazine article New Internationalist

[Ahab's Wife or the Star-Gazer]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Ahab's Wife or the Star-Gazer]

Article excerpt

From one brief mention in Moby Dick of the home-life of the Pequod's captain, Sena Jeter Naslund has spun an epic of astonishing scope and ambition. 'Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last,' says Una Spenser at the novel's opening and, indeed, he plays only a supporting role in this distaff side of Melville's classic.

Beginning in a freezing log cabin as Una gives birth to Ahab's son, only to lose both the child and her own mother, we flash back to the beginning of her harrowing story. Banished as a child from her Kentucky home after rejecting her father's religion and raised by relatives in a New Bedford lighthouse, she runs away to sea aged 16, disguised as a cabin boy, and survives a dramatic shipwreck. Marriage to one of her fellow survivors ends when he goes insane.

She meets and marries Ahab and their life together is described with rhapsodic tenderness; a meeting of intellectual and spiritual equals. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.