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Swimmer in the Secret Sea

Swimmer in the Secret Sea

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This novella tells the story of Johnny and Diane Laski - a sculptor and his wife - and their attempt to bring a new life into the world, during a cold winter, deep in the Maine countryside.

William Kotzwinkle describes the couple’s night-time dash to the hospital; the wife’s long labour; and the, ultimately, unsuccessful breech birth.

Unafraid of his subject, Kotzwinkle destroys any sentimental illusions about the beauty of childbirth - or the distance of birth from death.

He reminds us of how closely the two are intertwined; of the frightening power of the life force; and of the unpredictability and uncanniness of death.

And yet, his small book is not without hope…

“…Reveals a depth of emotion and an immensity of feeling seldom seen in American writers today.”The San Francisco Review of Books

“A beautiful piece of work…the economy of the writing and the matter-of-fact acceptance make it immensely moving.”Daily Telegraph

“A deeply moving book. The textures of its delicately conveyed anguish, simplicity make its grief all the more stunning.”Publishers Weekly