MU Welcomes Female Swordfishing Captain Featured in “The Perfect Storm”

Linda Greenlaw

Best-selling author and female swordfishing captain Linda Greenlaw will be on the Methodist University campus the week of January 28 as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Greenlaw’s visit will include a Presidential Lecture Series talk, “Lessons From the Sea,’’ on Tuesday, January 29 at 7 p.m. in the Matthews Ministry Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow.

The Presidential Lecture Series is one of the highlights of the Arts & Lecture Series, which is made possible through the generosity of community partners and individuals who have underwritten this program. The series welcomes accomplished artists, performers, authors and experts in a variety of subjects to the Methodist University campus. The series enriches the educational and cultural experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends in the community and throughout the region. More events in the series can be found online at

Greenlaw was among those portrayed in the New York Times best-seller, “The Perfect Storm’’ by Sebastian Junger, and in the subsequent movie that starred George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Greenlaw herself. As skipper of the Hannah Boden, she was the last person to communicate with companion ship the “Andrea Gail,’’ which was lost at sea during the massive 1991 storm.

“Not only is Greenlaw one of the only women in the business, she’s one of the best captains, period, on the entire East Coast,” Junger said.

Junger’s depiction of Greenlaw in “The Perfect Storm’’ led to invitations from major publishers that she write a book on her experiences. The result was her first best-seller, “The Hungry Ocean,” in 1999. She would go on to write four other best-selling nonfiction books about life as a commercial fisherman: “The Lobster Chronicles,” “All Fishermen Are Liars,” “Seaworthy,” and “Lifesaving Lessons,” as well as a series of mysteries: “Slipknot,” “Fisherman’s Bend,” “Shiver Hitch,” and her latest, “Bimini Twist.” She has also authored two cookbooks with her mother, Martha Greenlaw: “Recipes from a Very Small Island” and “The Maine Summers Cookbook.”

She was the winner of the U.S. Maritime Literature Award in 2003, and the New England Book Award for nonfiction in 2004. Greenlaw also has been featured in the Discovery Channel series Swords: Life on the Line.

She splits her time between Isle au Haut, Maine, and Surry, Maine, with her husband, boat builder Steve Wessel.

Besides the lecture, Greenlaw’s schedule will consist of activities for the campus community, including classroom visits.

For nearly 40 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. Through a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions, the Fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds.