Eating Owen: The Imagined True Story of Four Coffins from Nantucket: Abigail, Nancy, Zimri, and Owen

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Coffeetown Press, Jan 1, 2009 - Fiction - 236 pages
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Eating Owen is a tale of mystery. What really happened to Owen Coffin, the cabin boy on the Nantucket whaling ship Essex? In the autumn of 1819, the unthinkable happened. Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a whale rammed into the Essex, sinking it within minutes (the event that helped inspire Melville's Moby-Dick).The crew had no refuge except to jump into the three small and very flimsy wooden boats they carried on board to help them chase the whales. During the next three months, bobbing around aimlessly on the open ocean, the men suffered terribly. They ran out of food to eat, and some of them died.And some of them ate each other. Including Owen.The few survivors returned to Nantucket with the story that Owen had been fairly elected to be executed-before he was eaten. But no one knows for sure what happened. Or do we?Eating Owen is the story of Owen Coffin and his family before the Essex tragedy. It is a story about a family, a story about surviving and not surviving. A story about a whale's revenge.

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About the author (2009)

ANNE E. BEIDLER is a former director of Family House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a doctorate in educational research from Lehigh University. In addition to The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, she is also author of Eating Owen, a historical novel.

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