Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla, and for centuries, such figures as Aristotle and Freud have been obsessed by the "eel question." No one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. Drawing on literature, history, and biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of a misunderstood creature, and this New York Times Editor's Choice also proves to be an exploration of the human condition.
"Svensson has, quite stunningly, discovered in the natural and human history of the European eel a metaphor for his father's life and a way to explore questions of knowledge, belief and faith."—Washington Post