Swimming Home is about a family vacation in the French Riviera that gets interrupted by a strange visitor named Kitty Finch. Kitty unstable and seemingly starving herself. She is an amateur poet and an amateur botanist who paints her nails green. And she has an uncanny ability to bring out the darkness in this family. In this novel, Deborah Levy explores the precarious space between creativity and insanity. Her writing is penetrating and deeply evocative. She has an acute sense for detail, creating a novel that somehow has a tone that is both languid and manic. The way that the novel deals with desire-- as a timeless, carnal, healing, and simultaneously dooming force, is what ties it all together.— From Emma
Selected for the 2012 Man Booker Prize short list. "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 (UK)
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 enigmatic wife allow her to remain?
A subversively brilliant study of love, Swimming Home reveals how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.
"Swimming Home is unlike anything but itself . . . . 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." - Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review
"Elegant . . . subtle . . . uncanny . . . The seductive pleasure of Levy's prose stems from its layered brilliance . . . [Swimming Home is] witty right up until it's unbearably sad." - Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"Here is an excellent story, told with the subtlety and menacing tension of a veteran playwright." - Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"Exquisite . . . Levy's sense of dramatic form, as she hastens us toward the grim finale, is unerring, and her precise, dispassionate prose effortlessly summons people and landscapes." - The New Yorker
"Ms. Levy is a stealthy storyteller, lulling us while busy scattering clues." - Susannah Meadows, The New York Times
"Wholly new, fresh and, yes, profound . . . [Swimming Home] floats like a wasp, and stings like one too." - Tucker Shaw, The Denver Post