Fathoms wins Andrew Carnegie Medal

Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs has won the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.

The judges said: ‘At the start of Fathoms, Giggs evokes depth as a unit of measurement for bodies of water and as “an attempt to understand.” With fresh perceptions and cascades of facts, she considers our ancient and persistent whale wonderment, high-tech whale hunting, global warming, mass extinction, and pollution, including the oceanic plastic plague, urging us to save the whales, the oceans, and ourselves.’


A stunning meditation on the awe-inspiring lives of whales, revealing what they can teach us about ourselves, our planet, and our relationship to other species.

What can whales reveal about our world today? When writer Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beachfront in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales shed light on the condition of our seas. Fathoms: the world in the whale blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore: How do whales experience ecological change? Will our connection to these storied animals be transformed by technology? What…

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Rebecca Giggs

Rebecca Giggs is a writer from Perth, Western Australia. Her work has…

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Rebecca Giggs

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