Swimming...in pagesMonday, October 5, 2015
It's a bit too chilly to be swimming in swimming holes these days, the outdoor pools are closed, so the next best thing is reading about swimming!
Some of my favourite watery reads:
Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
This is everything I've always wanted in a book about swimming. There's a narrative that propels the book -- the author, Leanne Shapton's long-time relationship to swimming, from her younger years training for the Olympic swim trials, to her work now.
Giving a fascinating glimpse into the private realms of swimming, and drawing, Shapton tells an intimate story of suburban adolescence, family ties, and the solitary underwater moments that now ground her artistic habits.
Theres's also an illustration of all of the pools she's swam in and it is the most perfect thing I've ever seen.
Great interview here!
Arguments with the Lake by Tanis Rideout
I am in love with Marilyn Bell, so when I heard about Tanis Rideout's poetry collection about Bell (who at 16 was the first person to swim across Lake Ontario) and her rival, Shirley Campbell, who fell short in her attempt to cross the lake, I knew I'd be a fan. Rideout deftly weaves the lives of these two swimmers together. It makes me want to jump in Lake Ontario (minus the moray eels, thank you...)
The Swim Team by Miranda July (in the collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You)
It's not a book, but it's one of the most perfect short stories I've ever heard (on the radio the other afternoon). In the story, the narrator invites a group of retirees to her apartment for swimming lessons. There is no pool, but instead, the students lying down on the kitchen floor, their faces immersed in bowls of water.
There's a short film made of the story, but I haven't watched it as the image of elderly folk practising their dives into a bed are too perfect to mar with external visuals.
#theswimmingbook (title forthcoming) by Lisa Congdon
This book isn't out yet, but based on the illustrations Lisa Congdon has posted on her Instagram feed and blog, it is already one of my favourites! It will be comprised of essays, art, profiles of swimmers (Lisa put out an all-call awhile back!), photographs, vintage swimming stuff, hand lettered quotes and history!
Some more swim-lit over at the 49th Shelf!