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Hundreds of years ago, only widows, orphans, servants, and convicts actually ate lobster, and even the convicts only had to suffer through it once a week-according to laws in various parts of New England, making them eat lobster more than weekly was cruel and unusual punishment. Sometime afterwards, the national palate underwent a change that saw lobster become such a delicacy that it could support an entire industry dedicated to catching it.

Linda Greenlaw fishes for lobster and lives on Isle au Haut (population 70), located off the shores of Maine. Linda had spent seventeen years fishing for lobster before she decided to move from Gloucester, Massachusetts, back to the island on which she'd grown up. Her most recent book, "The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island," is a fascinating, humorous account of her attempts to set herself up as a lobster fisher (with her retired father serving as her crew), settle into life on the island, and come to grips with the eccentric characters who reside there.

Linda Greenlaw

Linda Greenlaw

"The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island" (Hyperion, 2002; $22.95)

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