Title

Review of "Swimming Studies" by Leanne Shapton

Publication Date

January 2012

Abstract

"Swimming has appeared from time to time in Western literature, often as a test of manly endurance. Odysseus swam for two days in the wine-dark sea, while Beowulf made it for seven, wearing a suit of armor and battling sea monsters along the way. Ben Franklin stripped down, leapt into the Thames, and demonstrated his aquatic expertise all the way from Chelsea to Blackfryars ... Yet Swimming Studies may be the first literary book entirely devoted to the grueling agonies and occasional ecstasies of competitive swimming." -- From the opening paragraph.