In this inside look at the folk tradition of hand-fishing, Mary Grigsby interviews thirty Missouri noodlers to examine this sport's appeal. The skill of catching spawning catfish with the bare hands is passed down through generations and builds a sense of community among participants despite or perhaps because of its illegality. Grigsby explores how the mostly rural, working-class noodlers create a sense of individual worth and a collective identity as they hold on to a way of life they fear may become lost. To add perspective to this male-dominated activity, she includes women's accounts of their involvement in these traditional practices. Giving voice to the noodlers themselves, Grigsby provides a fascinating view of Missouri's hand-fishing community.
About the Author
Mary Grigsby is associate professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the author of Buying Time and Getting By: The Voluntary Simplicity Movement (2004), and College Life Through the Eyes of Students (2009).
Published by University of Missouri, paperback, 2012. 176 pages.