Deborah Levy

Swimming Home

Shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize

Shortlisted for the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards (UK Author of the Year)

Shortlisted for the 2013 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize

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?

Profound and thrilling, Swimming Home reveals how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.

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More Info

  • Swimming Home was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards (UK Author of the Year) and 2013 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize.
  • With an afterword by Tom McCarthy
Print status: Available
Author: Deborah Levy
Original language: English
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 4 May 2017
ISBN: 9781911508083
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276063
Availability: UK, Europe and Commonwealth (excl. Canada)
Number of pages: 176


New Yorker

‘Exquisite . . . Levy’s sense of dramatic form, as she hastens us toward the grim finale, is unerring, and her prose effortlessly summons people and landscapes.’

Sunday Times

Swimming Home is as sharp as a wasp sting . . . Witty and poignant, its pages melt away like an unsettling yet familiar dream.’

The Guardian

‘Deborah Levy has made something strange and new . . . spiky and unsettling. In this novel, home is elusive, safety is unlikely, and the reader closes the book both satisfied and unnerved.’

The Telegraph

'A stealthily devastating book . . . 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.’

Financial Times

Swimming Home is a beautiful, delicate book underpinned by a complexity that only reveals itself slowly to the reader.’

The Independent

‘This amazing novel is a haunting exploration of loss and longing. It has an epic quality.’

Daily Mail

‘A lean, filmic novel humming with secrets. Its prose is luminous and, despite the darkness of themes that include depression and loss, there is immense tenderness.’

Times Literary Supplement

‘A statement on the power of the unsaid. Magisterial . . . Themes, phrases and images recur in rhythmic cycles through this fugal novel. Levy’s cinematic clarity and momentum convey confusion with remarkable lucidity.’

New York Times

'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.’

Ron Charles
The Washington Post

‘Elegant . . . subtle . . . uncanny. . . The seductive pleasure of Levy’s prose stems from its layered brilliance.’

Wall Street Journal

‘Here is an excellent story, told with the subtlety and menacing tension of a veteran playwright.’