Blue Ink ReviewsBlue Ink Reviews


Eder’s journal entries show writing flair (for example, she describes the anxious state of fishermen just before the season begins as being “like thoroughbred racehorses in the starting gate.”). She also adds interesting details and sidelights, such as recipes for the elaborate meals she regularly prepared and froze for the crew (chicken enchiladas, chicken Malibu, pot stickers, goulash etc.) and her financial bookwork (180,000 pounds of fish sold at $1.75/lb. grosses $300,000). Readers with or without knowledge of the fishing industry will find this story, enhanced by color photos of the family, an engrossing and moving page-turner. Read More...

Story Circle Book Reviews

reviewing books by, for, and about women

Michele Longo Eder's memoir, written in journal form, covers the span of one year in her multi-faceted life. The year, 2001, begins in a somewhat ordinary way, as ordinary a way as possible for this fisherman's wife, mother, lawyer, political activist and more. Regrettably it ends so very sadly with the loss of one of her sons at sea. While this event is the climax of Eder's journal and understandably comprises numerous entries, what leads up to it is in itself fascinating.

Eder's description of the commercial fishing industry, its perils and its joys is enlightening. She and her family live on the Oregon coast where fishing for sablefish and crab can at times mean feast or famine. She writes about various aspects of the industry including how quotas are imposed and prices set, the threat of strikes and more. The impact on fishermen/women and their families is direct and can be devastating—all that before they set foot on their boats. Her descriptions of life at sea, the unpredictability of the weather and the ocean are hard-hitting and here to read the article in full at "Story Circle Book Reviews"

NW Biblio Blog NW BiblioBlog

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Posted 8/5/2009 10:25 AM PDT on

Michele Longo Eder of Newport is the 2009 winner of the Willa Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction for her book “Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman's Wife.
The award is given by Women Writing the West, a nonprofit association of writers, editors, publishers and other professionals. Recipients are chosen by a panel of 21 professional librarians.

“Salt in Our Blood” recounts the story of Eder’s life as a commercial fisherman’s wife, a mother and a successful attorney on the Oregon coast. Set against the sudden loss at sea of the Eders’ oldest son, Ben, it is a tale of one family's strength and resilience.

A native of upstate New York, the author graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1976. She moved to Portland to attend law school at Lewis & Clark and has practiced law on the Oregon Coast for almost 30 years.

She serves on the board of directors of the North Pacific Research Board, and is a commissioner with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

—Barbara Curtin

Seafood News

Michele Eder’s book on Oregon Crabbing best book on fishing I have read in years News By John Sackton

Sep 17 2008

The book, Salt in Our Blood, tells the story of the dungeness crabbing seasons in 2000 and 2001 from the pages of Michele’s journal.  She introduces us to Bob Eder, whom she married in 1988, who became one of the highliner fishermen on the West Coast for dungeness and sablefish, and who owned two boats, the larger one which he fished himself, and the smaller one with a hired captain...

She talks of going in and out through the bar - how the weather dictates what is possible and what isn’t.

But above all what shines through is the satisfaction of winning at fishing: setting crab pots on just the right spot to come up with a huge catch.  Finding black cod when few others are getting any. Knowing that the economic success of your own business, your crew, and their families all depend on the knowledge and skill of your husband and his crew...Click here for entire article

Oregon Live Michele Longo Eder is a tenacious advocate for those on the sea

by Lori Tobias, The Oregonian

Sunday September 07, 2008, 9:45 PM

NEWPORT -- Michele Longo Eder is explaining her fondness for George W. Bush when a Coast Guard helicopter whirs past her oceanfront kitchen window. Her mouth freezes, a hand goes to her throat and her eyes fill.

The orange helicopter passes from view. Eder passes a fingertip beneath each eye, takes a breath and picks up the thread of how this lifelong Democrat wound up appointed and recently reappointed by President Bush to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Before she can explain further, her cell phone interrupts with a call from a client. And that, in brief, is Michele Longo Eder: successful attorney, fisherman's wife, grieving mother, advocate.

At 54, she is known for speaking her mind -- often loudly. She's an Oregonian who spent two minutes talking to Bush about the commercial fishing industry and wound up with a request from the White House for her resume.

She is, says friend and colleague Brandon Mayfield, someone tough on the outside and soft in the center.

Now she adds one more chapter to the book that is her life: author. This month, Eder debuts her first book: "Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman's Wife."...Click here for entire article.

THE ARTS: Newport author gives a glimpse of fishing family life

By JULIA MABRY - Coast Weekend

Michele Longo Eder wasn't born into a fishing family, and being a lawyer from upstate New York, she seems the unlikeliest of women to proudly wear her self-affixed label: fisherman's wife.

When she first moved to Newport 20 years ago, it must have seemed unlikely even to her. But she fell in love with a fisherman, and with his two young sons Dylan and Ben, and founded a family...

Oregon Coast Today

'Salt In Our Blood' Newport fisherman's wife publishes her memoirs

“Go, go, go!” the deep voice shouted, right near my ear. Bob’s calloused hand, which had just been caressing my thigh, grabbed the source of the sound: a black, hand-held VHF radio, located on the rickety nightstand next to the bed in the hotel room where we lay. Th e digital clock, lit with red numbers, showed 2 a.m. “I’m coming,” Bob said, having fl ipped the radio into transmission mode. He jumped out of bed and grabbed his blue jeans, pulling them on. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I just got here!” “Time for me to go, honey. Th at was Spelbrink on the radio. He‘s been watching the wave heights. Th e bar is safe to cross.” Bob leaned down, kissed me, and left me sitting upright in bed. Taking a long, last look, he said, “Have a safe drive home,” and closed the door tight behind him.

...and so begins the story of a fi sherman’s wife, a life fraught with long absences of loved ones, abundant bounty or empty pots, and the everpresent threat of death on a perilous sea: “Salt in Our Blood: Th e Memoir of a Fisherman’s Wife,” written by Michele Longo Eder and published by Newport- based Dancing Moon Press.

Click here to download online version of this article (PDF format)