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The Swimmers


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About the Author

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She pursued a career as a painter for several years before turning to fiction writing at age 30. She is the author of When the Emperor Was Divine, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Buddha in the Attic, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2012, and The Swimmers. She is a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, France's Prix Femina tranger, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She lives in New York City.


Her wisdom is staggeringly beautiful, implicating each of us
*The Irish Times*

Here comes the new Julie Otsuka novel, so we can begin to live again
*Colson Whitehead, author of Harlem Shuffle*

Heartbreaking and astoundingly good
*Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers*

I'm in awe of how this beautiful, graceful novel can hold so much grief and loss and love in its pages: a literary gem.
*Nicci Gerard, author of Soham: A Story Of Our Times*

'If it wasn't tragedy it would be comedy, and it nimbly treads the very narrow line between'
*The Tablet*

'One of the marvels of The Swimmers is its unshowy portrayal of the immense drama inherent in losing the mind before the body has expired. But perhaps even more impressive is its respect for the general confusion of living'
*Financial Times*

Poignant and funny, I've never read such a brilliant account of this devastating illness, nor for that matter of the compulsive nature of swimming lengths in a pool.

"The Swimmers" is an exquisite companion. Though it doesn't answer the unanswerable, the novel's quiet insistence resonates: that it is our perfectly ordinary proclivities that make us who we are.
*New York Times*

An unforgettable novel about mothers and daughters by a spellbinding talent
*Daily Mail*

Stylistically ambitious and deeply moving
*Kirkus Reviews*

A goddamn heartbreaker
*Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers*

A story of memory loss and its fallout for family, and of the power of pool friendship. Glittering and tender.
*Sainsbury's Magazine*

As a regular and sedate swimmer, I loved this novel...A quiet and thoughtful story about the small, steady joys of life and how quickly and irrevocably they can become disrupted.
*Red Magazine*

A story about mothers and daughters, love and loss, it will make you reconsider what's truly important in life
*Kintsugi Magazine*

Haunting, ironic and poetic in its resonance, this slender volume is a must-read...Don't miss this beautifully written, heartfelt, wry and wistful exploration of loss.
*Woman & Home*

With shrewd characterisation and original observations, Otsuka tells a tale of grief and memory that's quietly observed yet awash with dark humour and wit.

Amid an incantatory litany of totalising losses, there are snapshots of a unique life with all its complications. Superbly realised and incredibly moving
*Daily Mail*

Haunting, ironic and poetic in its resonance, this slender volume is a must-read
*Woman's Weekly*

What makes a good life? What is a good death? The answers to these questions shimmer elusively just below the surface of The Swimmers

Otsuka's slender, stylistically ambitious third novel is a marvel, capturing the hypnotic rhythm of lane-swimming and the devastating decline of memory and connection as dementia takes hold...Heartbreakingly powerful
*Mail on Sunday, Best New Fiction*

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