By Deborah Levy
(Bloomsbury USA, Paperback, 9781620401699, 176pp.)
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into the heart of their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe's enigmatic wife allow her to remain?
A subversively brilliant study of love, Swimming Home reveals how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.
Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and broadcast on the BBC. She is the author of highly praised novels including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, and Billy and Girl. She lives in London.
Shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker PrizeA New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year"Readers will have to resist the temptation to hurry up in order to find out what happens . . . Our reward is the enjoyable, if unsettling, experience of being pitched into the deep waters of Levy’s wry, accomplished novel." —Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review"Elegant . . . subtle . . . uncanny. . . The seductive pleasure of Levy’s prose stems from its layered brilliance." —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"Here is an excellent story, told with the subtlety and menacing tension of a veteran playwright." —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"Exquisite . . . Levy’s sense of dramatic form, as she hastens us toward the grim finale, is unerring, and her precise, dispassionate prose effortlessly summons people and landscapes." —The New Yorker
"Wholly new, fresh and yes, profound . . . [Swimming Home] floats like a wasp, and stings like one too." —Tucker Shaw, The Denver Post
“Ms. Levy is a stealthy storyteller, lulling us while busy scattering clues.”—The New York Times
“Levy winds her characters up and watches them go, and they do as most humans do, which is to mess up in the face of desire. Her novel is utterly beautiful and lyrical throughout, even at the most tragic turns….A shortlisted nominee for the Man Booker Prize, deserving of the widest readership.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Short, simple and haunting.”—Huffington Post, Editor’s Picks: Best Books 2012
“This perfectly written, expertly crafted short book…[is] so well done and so clever.”—Chicago Tribune, Printers Row “Levy is a keenly attentive writer, alive to the hyperreal nature of things, her prose achieving a hallucinatory quality as things seem to float out of the characters’ minds and into the text … Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader: we recognize … the thing of darkness in us all. This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast.”—The Telegraph (UK)
“A statement on the power of the unsaid … Levy’s cinematic clarity and momentum … convey confusion with remarkable lucidity.”—Times Literary Supplement (UK)
“Witty and poignant.”—Sunday Times (UK)
“One of the finest new novels I have read (and already reread) in a long time … it radiates the sensual languor of sun-drenched afternoons in the south of France and the disquieting, uncanny beauty only perceived by a true daytime insomniac.”—The Guardian (UK)
“Allusive, elliptical and disturbing…Often funny and always acute…Swimming Home reminded me of Virginai Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Although a short work, it has an epic quality. This is a prizewinner.”—The Independent (UK)
“Swimming Home is a beautiful, delicate book underpinned by a complexity that only reveals itself slowly to the reader.”—Financial Times (UK)