It is 1841, the height of America’s Golden Age of Whaling and the waning days of the rule of the Shogunate in Japan, which has been closed to foreigners for 250 years.
In G.L. Tysk‘s novel “The Sea-God at Sunrise,” a young Japanese fisherman named Shima, and his younger brother Takao, are out on a routine fishing expedition when a freak typhoon hits. They wind up shipwrecked on an uninhabited island.
Their rescue by a passing American whaling ship proves a short-lived miracle. They are barred from reentering Japan, as the ship heads for the whaling grounds of the South Pacific.
Shima becomes an unwilling passenger in a strange floating world filled with foreign faces, a new language, and a hostile chief mate. But when the reclusive captain suddenly falls ill, Shima and third mate Daniel Ellis stumble upon a secret from his past that brings together their previously isolated worlds.
Inspired by the true story of John Manjiro, one of the first Japanese in America and later interpreter to the shogun, “The Sea-God at Sunrise” is a tale of friendship and forgiveness across two cultures at the height of America’s Golden Age of Whaling.
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Listen to G.L. Tysk
The Indie Author Life
Researching the whaling industry for “The Sea-God at Sunrise” was especially inspiring for G.L. Tysk:
I’m most inspired by the history of American whaling, the United States’ first equal opportunity employer, its first worldwide industry, and the young country’s first true “melting pot.” The city of New Bedford, about an hour’s drive from Boston, was once known as the whaling capital of the world. I feel really fortunate to live so close to its rich heritage and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
And there’s more!
In addition to her writing, G.L. Tysk also works as an artist, costumer, and photographer in the greater Boston area. She also performs as part of a local Japanese taiko drumming ensemble.
And her next book, coming out next year — to be titled “Breaking All the Rules: Cosplay and the Art of Self-Expression” — is all about costume play, a Japanese word originally coined to describe the hobby of designing and dressing up in costume.
G.L. Tysk is also on YouTube.