Books

Whitty’s prodigious natural talents: a supple biodiversity of language and an empathy for people and animals alike that puts most other writers in the shade.
— The San Francisco Chronicle
 

Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean

Read an excerpt in The Paris Review and in Harper's.

Washington Post Best of Nonfiction 2010

A dream of a book, vivid yet languorous, rich in detail, richer still in emotional impact.  Whitty unspools scores of vignettes of life in remote biological research camps and on film shoots throughout the world's oceans, and intersperses these with allegorical references to Hindu mythology and some of the finest scientific descriptions of sea life and ocean dynamics this former oceanographer has ever read.

National Geographic Traveler

Breathtakingly learned and lyrical, offers oceanic revelations, from the ancient lineage of leatherback turtles to the sexual secrets of barnacles to the single coursing current of the deep ocean river and its critical role in our collective fate.

Los Angeles Times

Whitty writes with humor, reverence, true curiosity and an unfettered imagination. She is not afraid to be disoriented or in a state of permanent awe.

Buy at Indiebound or Amazon.

A Tortoise for the Queen of Tonga: Short Stories

Winner of an O. Henry Award, Bernice Slote Award, Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, runner-up PEN Hemingway

The Washington Post

A strikingly original book of short stories. Serious environmentalists are seldom noted for their sense of humor. Whitty is one who can provide it.

The San Francisco Chronicle

Whitty's prodigious natural talents: a supple biodiversity of language and an empathy for people and animals alike that puts most other writers in the shade.

The Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer

There's a strong melody to her prose, a prankish humor and an exhilarating confidence in the way she makes vast leaps through time.

The Dallas Morning News

Ms. Whitty is an ecologist and filmmaker. She knows animals; she knows the Earth's remote and wild places. For fiction she mixes that impeccable authority with a lyrical imagination.

Buy at Indiebound or Amazon.

The Fragile Edge: Diving & Other Adventures in the South Pacific

Winner of the PEN USA Award, the John Burroughs Medal Award, the Kiriyama Prize, the Northern California Book Award, and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

The New York Times

Loath to trade on Shark Week sensibilities, her rapture is more subtle, grand, intelligent and cosmological; and her primary devotion is to the coral reefs. Whitty's prose is supple and scientifically informed (a rare and graceful mix), her intimacies with the ocean's curiosities captivate. 

O, the Oprah Magazine

The product of a scientist's mind, a sociologist's eye, a Zen Buddhist's soul, and a poet's heart, The Fragile Edge is at once a natural history, a call to action, a love song, and a prayer.

Elle Magazine

Armchair travelers are sure to swoon over Julia Whitty's transporting read about her experiences diving off the coasts of South Pacific islands with such impossibly romantic-sounding names as Rangiroa, Tuvalu, and Mo'orea.

Buy at Indiebound or Amazon.


Year by year the seasons of the sea turtles came and went, followed by the rains, then the trade winds. Constellations cartwheeled against the sky, told their stories, dipped from sight, told them again.
— Julia Whitty, A Tortoise for the Queen of Tonga