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Water and Light

Water and Light
A Diver's Journey to a Coral Reef

An evocative account of the months Stephen Harrigan spent diving on the coral reefs off Grand Turk Island in the Caribbean.

Series: Southwestern Writers Collection Series, The Wittliff Collections, The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University

Sales restrictions: Not for sale in the British Commonwealth except Canada
May 1999
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287 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 |

This evocative account of the months Stephen Harrigan spent diving on the coral reefs off Grand Turk Island in the Caribbean was originally published by Houghton Mifflin in 1992.

  • 1. My Underwater Self
  • 2. Dry Dock
  • 3. Harmonium Point
  • 4. Trees of Stone
  • 5. Tierra
  • 6. Eye to Eye
  • 7. The Pain of Water
  • 8. The Dead Whale
  • 9. Algal Ridge
  • 10. Faceless
  • 11. Lobster Rock
  • 12. Underwater Nights
  • 13. Lord Face of Water
  • 14. Homesick Turtles
  • 15. Wandering
  • 16. The Green Mirror
  • 17. Prospects
  • 18. The Burning Reef
  • For Further Reading
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Harrigan is a former senior editor of Texas Monthly magazine who now writes full-time from his home in Austin, Texas.


“Moving, intelligent and, in the best sense, literary.... Stephen Harrigan is anchored in reality; he knows that the environment he's describing is in serious jeopardy. At the same time, he has made this book sparkle with his remarkable ability to discuss the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of underwater exploration without ever sounding saccharine or murky.”
New York Times Book Review

“[Harrigan] tells us about the people who live on Grand Turk, or come there on business, and he is given to reflecting on the subtleties of the underwater experience, but his real virtue as a writer is his ability to convey, in precise, lucid, prose, the marvels of the sea bottom.”
New Yorker

“Harrigan ...captures the peacefulness of being rocked by salty currents, the massive beauty of the reefs, the exhilaration of the sport, and the mental scramble to retain fast-fading memories of sights almost unimaginable on land. Fellow divers will relish his camaraderie, while those who prefer staying topside will feel as though they've taken the plunge themselves.”


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This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca