Books: Sharecroppers of the Sea

GULF STREAM NORTH (253 pp.)-Earl Conrad—Doubleday ($3.50).

Writers of the sea, like war novelists, test their heroes by putting them through an ordeal. In his semi-documentary novel. Gulf Stream North, Author Earl Conrad pits a simple crew of Florida Negroes against schools of unpalatable fish called menhaden, and gives their humble ordeal moments of tragic dignity.

To the crew of the Moona Waa Togue, menhaden is known as pogy, and catching pogy (for oils and fertilizer) is the hard work they do from April to November. The fishing day begins at 4 in the morning, when the mate, who tells the story, bangs...

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