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Learning to Swim

And Other Stories

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
The men and women in these spare, Kafkaesque stories are engaged in struggles that are no less brutal because they are fought by proxy. In Graham Swift's taut prose, these quiet combative relationships--between a mismatched couple; an aging doctor and his hypochondriacal patient; a teenage refugee swept up in the conflict between an oppressively sentimental father and his rebellious son--become a microcosm for all human cruelty and need.

"Swift proves throughout this ambitious collection that he is a master of his language and the construction of provocative situations."--Houston Chronicle
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The men and women in these spare, Kafkaesque stories are engaged in struggles that are no less brutal because they are fought by proxy. In Graham Swift's taut prose, these quiet combative relationships--between a mismatched couple; an aging doctor and his hypochondriacal patient; a teenage refugee swept up in the conflict between an oppressively sentimental father and his rebellious son--become a microcosm for all human cruelty and need.

"Swift proves throughout this ambitious collection that he is a master of his language and the construction of provocative situations."--Houston Chronicle
Product Details
Paperback (192 pages)
Published: March 3, 1992
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679739784
Other books byGraham Swift
  • Tomorrow

    Tomorrow
    On a midsummer's night Paula Hook lies awake; Mike, her husband of twenty-five years, asleep beside her; her teenage twins, Nick and Kate, sleeping in nearby rooms. The next day, she knows, will redefine all of their lives. Recalling the years before and after her children were born, Paula begins a story that is both a glowing celebration of love possessed and a moving acknowledgment of the secrets on which our very identities rest. Brilliantly distilling half a century into one suspenseful night, Tomorrow is an eloquent meditation on the mystery of happiness. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Last Orders

    Last Orders
    Four men gather in a London pub. They have taken it upon themselves to carry out the last orders of Jack Dodds, master butcher, and deliver his ashes to the sea. As they drive towards the fulfillment of their mission, their errand becomes an extraordinary journey into their collective and individual pasts. Braiding these men's voices, and that of Jack's widow, into a choir of sorrow and resentment, passion and regret, Swift creates a testament to a changing England and to enduring mortality. "Swift has involved us in real, lived lives...Quietly, but with conviction, he seeks to affirm the values of decency, loyalty, love."--New York Review of Books "A beautiful book...a novel that speaks profoundly of human need and tenderness. Even the most cynical will be warmed by it."--San Francisco Chronicle

    The Light of Day

    The Light of Day
    A Novel
    On the anniversary of a life-shattering event, George Webb, a former policeman turned private detective, revisits the catastrophes of his past and reaffirms the extraordinary direction of his future. Two years before, an assignment to follow a strayed husband and his mistress appeared simple enough, but this routine job left George a transformed man. Suspenseful, moving, and hailed by critics as a detective story unlike any other, The Light of Day is a gripping tale of murder and redemption, as well as a bold exploration of love and self-discovery. This powerful novel signals yet another groundbreaking achievement from Graham Swift, the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel Last Orders. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Making an Elephant

    Making an Elephant
    In his first-ever work of nonfiction, Graham Swift—Booker Prize-winning author of Waterland and Last Orders—gives us a highly personal book: a singular and open-spirited account of a writer’s life.   Here Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar; Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard; Caryl Phillips shares a beer with the author at a nightclub in Toronto. There are private moments with Swift’s father and with his own younger self, as well as musings—on history, memory, and imagination—that illuminate his work. As generous in its scope as it is acute in its observations, Making an Elephant brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry and interviews, full of insights into Swift’s passions and motivations, and wise about the friends, family and other writers who have mattered to him over the years. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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