TalkSwimming Home, by Deborah Levy

And Other Stories

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Swimming Home, by Deborah Levy

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1anisoara
Dec 19, 2012, 7:38pm

Thread for Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

2jll1976
Dec 20, 2012, 4:59am

Does anyone else think that Swimming Home was robbed in the Man Booker Prize this year?

3diganwhiskey
Dec 20, 2012, 7:43am

Now I must find out! Just chose this as my second read from And Other Stories.

4anisoara
Dec 20, 2012, 8:29am

I was so torn... The short list this year was the finest in recent years. Swimming Home would have been a brave choice for the judges. And I do wish they had been that little bit braver.

5jll1976
Dec 21, 2012, 12:50am

You're right- I'm part way through Umbrella, and I have to say that is pretty damn good too. I'm not saying that Bring Up the Bodies isn't a great book, I just think that compared to the others in the Short list (and even compared to Wolf Hall ) it wasn't AS good.

6brenpike
Dec 21, 2012, 9:42am

I read Swimming Home is my quest to read all the Booker nominees, and liked it very much. In fact, that is how I became aware of And Other Stories publishing. A unique idea, one I hope is successful. I had difficulty in obtaining a copy of Swimming Home, borrowing it through an inter- library system. For those of you who are not subscribing members, do you have the same challenges in obtaining the books? Members, tell me more about your subscription and how that all works. . .

7diganwhiskey
Dec 22, 2012, 11:03am

Just received the U.S. edition and I'm wondering, if anyone knows, whether it's the only And Other Stories book to be published in a different edition?

8geocroc
Dec 22, 2012, 4:10pm

Can't be sure. The popularity of the book after its Booker success, whilst fantastic for a small and newly formed publisher, meant they could not react to the demand the Booker shortlisting generated in the same way that one of the larger publishers could. As a result they jointly published a mass-market paperback with Faber & Faber. It featured a different cover (not the distinct AOS style) but was otherwise a full facsimile for the original.

As far as I'm aware none of the other books published by And Other Stories have had the same treatment. That's not to say that the rights for the non UK editions have not been released by other publishers elsewhere in the world. Likely to be the case given that the majority of the books are translations.

9diganwhiskey
Dec 23, 2012, 9:51am

Thanks, geocroc. Have you read any of the others here? I loved Down the Rabbit Hole but did not know of the publisher previously. Now I'm properly educated!

10anisoara
Dec 23, 2012, 3:53pm

Diganwhiskey, my personal favourite so far has been Oleg Zaionchkovsky's Happiness is Possible, though I'm a Russophile so perhaps it's hard for me to be objective.

11anisoara
Dec 23, 2012, 4:50pm

Oh, also should add that Lightning Rods has also been published by New Directions in the US, two months after UK publication going by info on the editions available at Amazon. But this and Swimming Home are the only two works originally written in English, everything else is a work in translation. It's interesting to follow the publisher's website as a variety of works are considered by reading groups in various languages that read the works either in original language or in sample translations. I think this approach may be unique to And Other Stories.

12diganwhiskey
Dec 24, 2012, 10:50am

Confession: I started to read Swimming Home and was put off by the first couple of pages. Thank goodness I persevered (don't always) and have been rewarded already.

Thanks, anisora. It's also possible to search a book here and multiple covers can be a clue to other editions.

13anisoara
Dec 31, 2012, 3:58am

Very good point re searching on LT.

Have just come across this short, rather playful interview of Deborah Levy at Fleeting Magazine: http://www.fleetingmagazine.com/interview-with-deborah-levy/

14diganwhiskey
Dec 31, 2012, 8:07am

Thanks for the link. I just finished the book and was mightily impressed. In a blurb the word "cinematic" was used; shall we cast the film? Seriously, I'd love to see it made.

15ian_curtin
Jan 3, 2013, 6:02am

>1 anisoara:
Hi, thanks for the invite to the group. I have Swimming Home but haven't got round to it yet - it's a priority for the new year though (as is Lightning Rods).

So far my experiences with AOS have been great and I'm delighted to support them.