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Swimmer

(2000)
A novel by

 
Swimmer is Bill Broady's lyrical literary debut: the story of a young female swimmer, a Commonwealth gold medallist, who escapes the peculiar loneliness of family and school life by finding her element in the water. It's a strange and melancholy tale: "Your first and last memories were of butterflies ... Before Dad's identification you'd named it already, in the fast-receding synaesthetic language of babyhood, MRRLYMBRXBRX". "You" is the unnamed swimmer; the novel is Broady's address to a girl who, at the very beginning of the book, has had her first and last memories: the butterflies who enthuse a child with a wish to fly that becomes the wish and talent to swim. In the first half of the book, the cast of characters is ready and waiting: Mum, Dad, Coach, budding champion and her competitive rivals. But nothing is quite as expected: "Stupidity! Stolidity! Senselessness!" is Dad's parody of Coach's "Strength! Stamina! Suppleness!", while Mum swigs gin in the bathroom. And Coach's commitment has its own price, one that is followed through in the disturbing sequel to the swimmer's success. At 19, her athletic career all but over, the swimmer is passed on to Coach Two, an agent who helps her to find, or lose, her way in the world of "promo": the money, sleaze and sex of the night clubs and glamour modelling that emerge as the pinnacle of Coach Two's ambitions.

It's a maddening world, literally, for the swimmer--and for the reader who follows her journey back to the "time before speech" and the early pleasures of butterflies. --Vicky Lebeau

 
Used availability for Bill Broady's Swimmer


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Paperback Editions

October 2000 : UK Paperback
Title: Swimmer
Author(s): Bill Broady
ISBN: 0-00-655197-1 / 978-0-00-655197-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Flamingo
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2000 : UK Paperback
Title: Swimmer
Author(s): Bill Broady
ISBN: 0-00-225946-X / 978-0-00-225946-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Flamingo
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

May 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: Swimmer
Author(s): Bill Broady
Publisher: Flamingo
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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