Swimming Studies

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton, Blue Rider Press, 30.00

Leanne Shapton is an artist and writer who once competed for a slot on the Canadian Olympic swim team. She didn't make the squad but was good enough to get close, which meant she spent hours and months and years swimming and training and thinking -- deeply -- about what it all meant to her life. With the XXX Olympiad and the names of Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte fresh on our minds, and 100+ temperatures out there now, it's a good time to dive into Leanne Shapton's refreshingly cool memoir.

Swimming Studies is a physically lovely book whose narrative is accompanied by  the author's sketches, paintings, and an unusual photographic archive of her swimsuits.  And it's an excellent read, a provocative and pleasantly understated memoir with casual, elliptical references to art and literature and unpretentious utterances of occasional wisdom -- a friendly, welcome companion for any reader who wishes to think about what is, has been, or may become of one's life. RH

Vintage high-neck psychedelic one-piece suit, no label, used for recreational swimming, 2003-2010.
(Swimming Studies)