A personal quest for the elusive mermaid. From the seas of antiquity to the city streets of today, A Mermaid's Taleexplores the myth and meanings of the mermaid through time and acrosscultures. The book also takes us on a personal journey, as the authorreflects on her lifelong obsession with and passion for mermaidenry. Beginning with Melusina, the bathing mermaid par excellence,AmandaAdams goes on to describe the seductive sirens and their honeyed songs,the powerful Arctic sea goddess Sedna, and the long-haired rusalki ofRussian lore, among other legendary mermaids. As she tells their stories,she considers the womanly, passionate, rage-filled, and seductively sweetsides of the mermaid and how those traits reflect the lives and moods ofwomen who live on drier shores. Pouring Morton's salt into the tub as achild - determined to sprout a real mermaid's tail - hearing the siren'ssong on Northern California beaches, reckoning with the mermaid'sbrazen sexuality, and pondering the selchie legends of lost sealskins andterrestrial marriage, Adams also expresses a love of the mermaid thatsurely no sea-bound sailor could ever match. Grounded in cultural anthropology, folklore studies, and intellectualrigor, A Mermaid's Tale also draws on literature, poetry, and mythologyfor its insights. Most of all, it is a book filled with enchantment, tellingmermaid stories with depth and detail and describing Adams's swimthrough the ocean of her own life in search of the unusual, the beautiful,and the perfectly extraordinary.