Synopses & Reviews
Man Booker Prize Shortlisted 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 wife allow her to remain?
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 biting humor and immediate appeal, it wears its darkness lightly.
"Deborah Levy's storytelling is allusive, elliptical and disturbing. Her touch is gentle, often funny and always acute....This is a prizewinner." Julia Pascal, The Independent
"A stealthily devastating book...Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader....This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast." Philip Womack, The Daily Telegraph
"The inclusion [on the Booker longlist] of Deborah Levy's Swimming Home, one of the finest new novels I have read (and already reread) in a long time, seems like a very good omen indeed. 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." Andrew Gallix, The Guardian
About the Author
Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised novels, including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography (both Jonathan Cape) and Billy and Girl (Bloomsbury). Swimming Home was serialized on BBC Radio 4 as a Book at Bedtime.