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2012 MAN BOOKER PRIZE SHORTLISTED. Swimming Home is a subversive page-turner, a merciless gaze at the insidious harm that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a single week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams. Deborah Levy's writing combines linguistic virtuosity, technical brilliance and a strong sense of what it means to be alive. Swimming Home represents a new direction for a major writer. In this book, the wildness and the danger are all the more powerful for resting just beneath the surface. With its deep psychology, biting humour and deceptively light surface, it wears its darkness lightly.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Swimming Home is as sharp as a wasp sting ... Witty and poignant, its pages melt away like an unsettling yet familiar dream.' Sunday Times ---------- 'Deborah Levy has made something strange and new ... spiky and unsettling. In this novel, home is elusive, safety is unlikely, and the reader closes the book both satisfied and unnerved.' The Guardian ---------- 'A stealthily devastating book ... 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 ---------- 'Swimming Home is a beautiful, delicate book underpinned by a complexity that only reveals itself slowly to the reader.' Financial Times ---------- 'This amazing novel is a haunting exploration of loss and longing. It has an epic quality.' The Independent ---------- 'A statement on the power of the unsaid. Magisterial ... Themes, phrases and images recur in rhythmic cycles through this fugal novel. Levy's cinematic clarity and momentum convey confusion with remarkable lucidity.' Times Literary Supplement ---------- 'As the reader is drawn beneath the placid surface of her characters' experiences, Levy reveals a more urgent world humming with symbols.' Literary Review ---------- 'Exquisite ... Levy's sense of dramatic form, as she hastens us toward the grim finale, is unerring, and her prose effortlessly summons people and landscapes.' New Yorker ---------- '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.' New York Times ---------- 'Elegant ... subtle ... uncanny... The seductive pleasure of Levy's prose stems from its layered brilliance.' Washington Post ---------- 'Here is an excellent story, told with the subtlety and menacing tension of a veteran playwright.' Wall Street Journal