Books

 Two Fish PhotoBooks—color, and black & white

NEW Black-&-White photobook avail. Feb. 2015

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Available soon for preorder; more info to follow here and on the Jana M. Suchy Facebook page.

 

 

FishBkCover_3x3The first book—color—published 2013 online through Blurb’s on-demand publishing—available for preview or purchase at this link to Blurb publishing: Jana Suchy’s Bookstore

Finally published that book I’ve been sitting on for 30 years. Back in the day–the 1980s–I crewed the back deck of commercial fishing boats out of Sitka, Alaska, then covered the waterfront as fish writer/photographer for the fish papers, mostly Pacific Fishing magazine and Alaska Fisherman’s Journal. This big, beautiful coffee table book reflects those years both in vivid technicolor photographs and 10 insider stories previously published in the ’80s. Yup, my life is a history book now, it’s been that long ago.

Take a visual journey back in time onboard small fishing boats on a big ocean, as if you were there. A fun and pretty book, stories, sidebars and captions pull the reader into a world of water, living and working on the North Pacific in a wilderness of islands and rocks that is Southeast Alaska.

In addition to the 11×13 coffee-table size it is now available in smaller 8×10 format as well as serialized versions split into three 8×10 independent volumes—all 8×10 books offered in both hard- and softcover. Click Jana Suchy’s Bookstore to preview and order all books at

Blurb publishing, an expensive way to print big books so the new B&W book’s printed in a limited press run. If ordering from Blurb please carefully select your choice: 3 small cover icons below represent serialized volumes (each split into one-third of the big book); the large cover icon below appears in the bookstore twice—both as a large 11×13 hardcover coffee-table book and a smaller 8×10 format with the same content in either hard- or softcover.

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Serialized volumes of the complete work
Serialized volumes of the complete work
Vol 2 coverVol 3 cover
 

Fishing was a way I made a living when I was young, adventurous, and had a strong back, all three of which have fallen a bit by the wayside of life. Fishing gave me experiences beyond measure, showed me rugged country beyond accessible to the casual traveler or observer, taught me hard work beyond all other before or since. It greatly informed who I’ve become.

It’s what the book Fishing for a Living in Alaska’s Southeast is all about: stories and photos from the boom-&-bust, wild-&-wooly days of the 1980s—written, photographed and published in present-tense 1983-1988. It’s an inside look at the commercial fishing industry in Alaska during the ’80s from a woman who fished the back deck as crew three years, then covered the fisheries another three as fish writer/photographer for the fish papers of the day. A big, beautiful 11×13 coffee table book with over 300 photos and 10 previously published stories in 230 pages. Now available in the small 8×10 format in entirety—as well as serialized into 3 separate volumes—at this Blurb books link: Jana Suchy’s Bookstore

I very much enjoyed my newfound voice of extemporaneous writing in this first book—the newly written caption-and-sidebar glue that holds the stories from the ’80s together—as opposed to the details, focus and research inherent to fish reporting or writing for hire. So much so that I’m eager to write a second book to feature the long-buried black-&-white photographs amassed during the Alaska fish years. I promise it’s not going to take the same 30 years to become a reality now that I’ve got the skunk off the deck.

8 November 2013: The Next Book

Well, it’s true—I started the black-&-white book. Dug into my pile of B&W negatives and contact sheets for the first time in 25 years and discovered a real treasure trove in there. Back then before Photoshop I always used two cameras, one for color film, the other B&W. But even color film was primitive and limiting and typically couldn’t take a picture in low light, so that’s when I’d switch to the fast film of black and white. And there’s stuff in there I’ve never seen before, lots of Men At Work shots on hook-and-line boats, salmon trolling and longlining halibut, rockfish, sablefish and gray cod. From the fishing grounds, on the back deck, catching fish, doing gearwork, offloading to seafood plants, and the slime line of workers processing the fish. It’s all there.

Then my attic once more revealed the original manuscripts I’d written for fishing magazines at the height of  the madness that was longlining before IFQs (Individual Fishing Quotas) changed everything. Everything. Took the wide-open right out of fishing. These stories with titles like “Black Cod—Take No Prisoners” and “The Latest War Zone” chronicle the frenzy of what I call the Deadly Derbies of the ’80s, fishing “seasons” squashed into brutal openings of mere hours, typically just 24, 36, 48—or even 12. Madness, I tell you. This second book is slated to be a gritty piece of history comparable to the crazy fervor of a gold rush. It tells a story about closing The Last Frontier, when they fenced-in fishing. Stay tuned …