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The swimmers

by Otsuka, Julie, 1962-

Format: Kindle Book 2022 2022
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"A novel portraying a group of dedicated recreational swimmers and what happens when a crack appears at the bottom of their community pool"--
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Award-winning, best-selling Otsuka is averaging one book per decade, making each exquisite title exponentially more precious. Here she creates a stupendous collage of small moments that results in an extraordinary examination of the fragility of quotidian human relationships. Initially set in an underground pool, it voices a collective "we" that reports the comings and goings of the titular swimmers, regulars who uphold all regulations, who have established their schedules, lanes, and paces with comforting familiarity. A crack in the pool's bottom gets noticed, examined, almost forgotten until it causes immutable upheaval. Some never swim again--most notably Alice, for whom the water was an essential haven: "Up there . . . I'm just another little old lady. But down here, at the pool, I'm myself." Alice, "a retired lab technician now in the early stages of dementia," is the first of Otsuka's few characters identified by name. Her story aboveground is a polyphonic reveal through her lingering yet fading memories, the care center that she can never leave, and her estranged daughter, who based her second novel "on the most painful and difficult years of [Alice's] life." Alice survived that "first frenzy of forgetting" as an imprisoned Japanese American during WWII, and now a final erasure looms. Once more, Otsuka creates an elegiac, devastating masterpiece."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Otsuka (The Buddha in the Attic) delivers a quick and tender story of a group of swimmers who cope with the disruption of their routines in various ways. The regulars at a pool range in age, ability, and swimming habits, and are connected by an incessant need to swim. When a crack shows up in the deep end of lane four, the swimmers all grow nervous about the pool's future. While the "nonswimmers" in their lives (also known as "crack deniers") dismiss the swimmers' concerns, the swimmers collectively discover how the crack "quietly lodges itself, unbeknownst to you, in the recesses of your mind"--except for cheerful Alice, who has swum in the pool for 35 years and now has dementia. Some members stop going to the pool out of fear, while others try to get close to the crack. Just before the pool is closed, Alice determines to get in "Just one more lap." Otsuka cleverly uses various points of view: the swimmers' first-person-plural narration effectively draws the reader into their world, while the second person keenly conveys the experiences of Alice's daughter, who tries to recoup lost time with her mother after Alice loses hold of her memories and moves into a memory care facility. It's a brilliant and disarming dive into the characters' inner worlds. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Swimmers Fiction
Japanese Americans Fiction
Dementia Patients Fiction
Mothers and daughters Fiction
Electronic books.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group2022
Edition First edition.
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9780593321348
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