Swim was chosen for the ‘Best Books Ever’ column on the website Girls Can Create.
Congratulations to Madeleine Stratford, finalist for a 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for Translation (English to French) for Elle Nage (Editions La Peuplade), her translation of Swim.
Breathe on four. Define your terms. What is this desire?
Attuned to a body in motion, Swim pulls the reader beneath the logic of prose, into the eroticism of language itself. The arcing rhythm of a body breathing—a woman marking her birth as she swims in a pool—sustains the unique and hypnotic language that becomes the medium through which this story moves.
Swim entwines the present with those past actions and consequences that have brought Kat to the Greek mountain village where her father was born. She swims laps while her fourteen-year-old daughter reclines on a chaise lounge, poolside, reading a book. Without ever leaving the pool we enter discrete scenes with Kat’s parents, daughter, husband and lover. On entering each point in this history, Kat reveals an undertow of sound, rhythm and words in their rippling meanings. Each new lap moves Kat closer to her impending decision: whether she will leave her husband. But the deeper tension within this innovative novel derives from the writing itself—its vital urgency that extends the possibilities of narrative beyond the fixed and into the fluid.