I was musing aloud about what the next supernatural fiction trend may be, now that vampires and werewolves have had their day. I jokingly said mermaids/mermen, but it looks like there may be something to that after all. A recent Joss Whedon film (The Cabin in the Woods) had a plot twist centered on the mythological creature the merman. New York's own Mermaid Parade in Coney Island continues to go strong. What better beach read could there be than a mermaid novel? Apparently, some other sites have thought the same thing, since there are some great lists on GoodReads.
"Young Adult Fiction's Hottest New Trend: Mermaids?" io9, August 21, 2012.
YA mermaid books on Goodreads:
- Genres > Mermaids: New Releases Tagged "Mermaids"
- Listopia: YA Mermaid Novels
- Listopia: YA Mermaid/Mermen/Siren Books of 2012
A recent New York Times piece had an article and video about Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida. At Weeki Wachee, there is a long-running act of Esther Williams-style "mermaids" swimming in an underground pool and artfully taking sips of air from breathing apparatus so that the audience can maintain their suspension of disbelief.
The women, and a few men, who perform in this act are devoted to it and to each other, despite the economic ups and downs that the show has encountered over the years. A few former employees of Weeki Wachee have gone on to make names for themselves as mermaids and mermen. Hannah Fraser uses the celebrity she's gained from photoshoots to bring attention to environmental issues affecting dolphins and manatees such as in the DVD The Cove (2009). Also, Eric Ducharme, aka the Mertailor, makes custom neoprene fins that have appeared on shows like RuPaul's Drag Race. The New York Times and American Airlines both mentioned Weeki Wachee in their magazines recently:
"The Last Mermaid Show" New York Times, July 5, 2013.
"A Modern Mermaid Tale" American Way.
Weeki Wachee has been accident-free, as far as I know, but there are always risks to diving underwater. Adults may feel compelled to read the tragic nonfiction story of Audrey Mestre, a French deep sea diver, written by her husband after her death: The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession.
Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall is a fictional account of what it might be like to work at a Weeki Wachee Springs-inspired Mermaid Park. There are even cookbooks for those who want to live "la vie sirène," such as The Mermaid Chef by Estelle F. Arlaud, a scuba and catering enthusiast and The Mermaid Cookbook by Barbara Beery, for kids. Other mermaid books for kids are The Mermaid Picnic by Kitty Leech about a young girl named Emily and the picnic she has with her friends on a rainy day (includes a recipe for Sand Tarts!) and A Mermaid Tea Party by Sally Huss.
"And she can cook too! The Mermaid Chef" la Vie Sirène, June 26, 2013.