Portrait of the Gulf Stream

by Érik Orsenna

‘The French author Erik Orsenna ‘collects currents’ in the way that other people collect butterflies or stamps. He has been in love with them since his childhood’ 
The Guardian

‘Orsenna’s subject is timely, but the snippets of historical record, quizzical journeys to find where the Stream starts and stops, and digressions into the deep past make this an occasionally charming curio’
Financial Times

‘…a near seamless blend of travel, science and literary reportage, a peerless portrait of a force of nature.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘It so happens that ever since childhood I have been in love with ocean currents, in love with those rivers hidden in the water’. And so begins Érik Orsenna’s exploration of the Gulf Stream, the mysterious Atlantic Ocean current that brings warmth to the waters of Europe. A self-confessed ‘wanderer’, Orsenna’s voyage of discovery takes him from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to the legendary Maelström off Norway, seeking out the beginnings of this powerful ocean current and the effect that global warming will have on its flow. Speaking to scholars and scientists and delving into thousands of years of history, Orsenna’s study is a love letter to the seascape that fascinates him. Portrait of the Gulf Stream is a unique combination of science and poetry, bringing together some of the most prominent scientific voices – and their knowledge of the ‘mechanics’ of the Gulf Stream – and the romance of the ocean, the ‘reservoir of dreams’ that has captivated writers as diverse as Socrates, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway.

Prize-winning writer, politician and sailor, ÉRIK ORSENNA is one of the forty ‘immortals’ of the Académie Française and a former presidential adviser to François Mitterand. Portrait of the Gulf Stream is Orsenna’s sixteenth book.

Also by this author, The Indies Enterprise.

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