A High Low Tide
The Revival of a Southern Oyster

André Joseph Gallant

Will Georgia’s wild oystermen adapt with the rise of aquaculture?

Reviews

“Gallant’s ability to explain the biology/ecology of the Georgia seacoast oyster is remarkable for both its depth and understandability. Likewise, his introduction of a cast of strongly individualistic characters involved in this unique coastal culture is key to creating a rich and compelling story of place. Moreover, his descriptions of the physical power and beauty of the region create a fascinating world that is a pleasure for any reader to enter.”
—Ronni Lundy, James Beard Award–winning author of Victuals

"A High Low Tide belongs on the short shelf of essential literature of the beguiling bivalve. It is also a modern story of the South’s eternal struggle to preserve its past—and how aquaculture, of all things, brought disparate people together to do just that."
—Brett Anderson, James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurant critic and food writer


Description

Oysters are a narrative food: in each shuck and slurp, an eater tastes the place where the animal was raised. But that’s just the beginning. André Joseph Gallant uses the bivalve as a jumping-off point to tell the story of a changing southeastern coast, the bounty within its waters, and what the future may hold for the area and its fishers. With A High Low Tide he places Georgia, as well as the South, in the national conversation about aquaculture, addressing its potential as well as its challenges.

The Georgia oyster industry dominated in the field of oysters for canning until it was slowed by environmental and economic shifts. To build it back and to make the Georgia oyster competitive on the national stage, a bit of scientific cosmetic work must be done, performed through aquaculture. The business of oyster farming combines physical labor and science, creating an atmosphere where disparate groups must work together to ensure its future. Employing months of field research in coastal waters and countless hours interviewing scholars and fishermen, Gallant documents both the hiccups and the successes that occur when university researchers work alongside blue-collar laborers on a shared obsession.

The dawn of aquaculture in Georgia promises a sea change in the livelihoods of wild-harvest shellfishermen, should they choose to adapt to new methods. Gallant documents how these traditional harvesters are affected by innovation and uncertain tides and asks how threatened they really are.

Series/imprint:
Crux: The Georgia Series in Literary Nonfiction

A Bradley Hale Fund Publication

Page count: 256 pp.
36 b&w photos
Trim size: 6 x 9

 



Hardcover
List price: $32.95
978-0-8203-5450-7
9/15/2018

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Ebook
List price: $32.95
978-0-8203-5482-8
9/15/2018
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ANDRE JOSEPH GALLANT is an independent journalist whose writing has appeared in Oxford American, Gravy, Bitter Southerner, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Modern Farmer, Southern Cultures, Atlanta Magazine, and Civil Eats. He is the founding editor of Crop Stories, a literary journal exploring farm culture in the American South. He lives in Athens, Georgia.