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Cover for Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons

Life Lessons from the Pool, from Diving in to Treading Water

Rohinton Mistry, Penelope Niven, Jim Nocito (Illustrator)


List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


At age forty-four, Penelope Niven was at a turning point in her life. In need of a change for both body and spirit, she decided to learn how to swim. While discovering the restorative effect of the water, she also began to notice that the lessons she was learning in the pool drew remarkable parallels with the lessons of life. The way in which you first get into the water, for example, is similar to trying anything new-you can jump in feet first, or dive in headfirst, but first you have to have some idea of what you're actually getting into. From floating to treading water, forward strokes to the backstroke, Swimming Lessons combines the familiar lessons of swimming with personal anecdotes and apt observations to stirring effect. Sensible, touching, and personal, this appealing book will be invaluable to any reader facing a life change or simply looking for a little bit of inspiration.

A Harvest Original

Praise For Swimming Lessons: Life Lessons from the Pool, from Diving in to Treading Water

“Niven writes with a clear, lyrical voice.”—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“Wonderfully written ... Graceful, elegant, and satisfying.”—THE WASHINGTON POST

Harper Perennial, 9780156027076, 208pp.

Publication Date: April 5, 2004

About the Author

PENELOPE NIVEN (1939-2014) devoted fourteen years to organizing Carl Sandburg's papers, forming the framework for her 1991 biography of the poet. A fellow of American Literature from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Niven founded and directed the Carl Sandburg Oral History Project for the National Park Service and the University of Illinois Library.