“This book was a hurricane for me–scary, fraught, emotional, and at the end of it, I came out a stronger person. Nancy’s academic chops were excellent, analyzing the original book logs and journals of female sailors in the Pacific NoWest from the mid-1800s through the present. But it was her personal journey, her voice, and her heart-felt understanding of these women that helped me place myself in their position.
I highly recommend the book for anyone, but if you’re 1. A woman, and 2. A sailor, you HAVE to read it. Really, it’s required for your life.” –Kristiana Kahakauwila, author of This Is Paradise
“Pagh was particularly effective in linking her own personal story—as mariner and scholar—with feminist geography, regional history and post-colonial theory. Voyage accounts can be tedious and disappointing unless discourse analysis is used, and Pagh has mined them with exemplary insight. Every subtle, well-theorized, coolly argued page is a delight. The work is a mistress-piece of lean and personable prose. It will set the precedent for all future books on the social/spatial place of women at sea.” –Jo Stanley, Gender & History
“Nancy Pagh has altered the course of nautical traditionalism with her book, At Home Afloat: Women on the Waters of the Pacific Northwest. Her exhaustive research produces a fascinating study of women’s written accounts of boat travel between 1861 and 1990.
Pagh’s women writers provide accounts and striking details about Northwest coast travel—whether on pleasure crafts or work boats—that would otherwise not have existed. I especially enjoyed a section in chapter four, “Getting Our Dresses Wet,” in which Pagh initiates a discussion on girls as opposed to women in the marine environment. At Home Afloat is a lively, intelligent analysis of, if you will forgive the pun, heretofore uncharted waters.” —Canadian Literature
“In the litany of Northwest coast history little has been written about women in the marine environment. This is unfortunate considering the vastness of the coastal waters within which women have operated for years: there are over 800 miles of coastline that stretch from Puget Sound in the south to Prince William Sound in the north. At Home Afloat has filled a gap that has been woefully evident in women’s history.
Pagh’s writing is engaging and sprinkled with quotes from actual travel writings. Her interdisciplinary approach in combination with her scholarly research makes At Home Afloat an important treatise to add to the annals of women’s history. –Cathleen Converse, Amazon.com review.
“This is a very original book. No one has looked at the material Pagh explores; her primary background reading is terrific. But more impressive is the way she moves beyond merely introducing her reader to a series of interesting women and texts.” –Melody Graulich, editor, Western American Literature
“We are so accustomed to thinking of only the ‘men who go down to sea in ships’ that we have overlooked the very different experience of seagoing women. Nancy Pagh’s book corrects our vision, showing how the study of women afloat in Pacific Northwest waters reveals the gendered nature of seafaring.” –Sue Armitage, editor, Frontiers