Swimming Studies

Front Cover
Swimming Stories (title TK) is a singular, brilliantly charming memoir that oscillates between the very different worlds of competitive and recreational swimming. Between 1988 and 1992, Leanne Shapton spent all of her time outside of school endeavouring to make the Canadian Olympic swimming team. Once she decided to leave the pros behind, she continued to swim at every chance in pools, lakes, and oceans around the world, with an array of exquisite characters in fascinating places. Her spare, elegant and pitch-perfect writing explores professional and amateur swimming, suburban adolescence, immigration, and family. Similar to Twyla Tharp's bestselling how-to book, The Creative Habit, Shapton discusses how she applied the disciplines of athletics to her passions for art and drawing; from taking a stopwatch to bed and racing mentally, to finding her place as an award-winning artist, her memoir will be read by anyone and everyone searching for creativity and passion in their life. This is a book about competitive pressures, athletic communities and private passions, rather than about taking the gold. It is also about the joy of solitary activity, as examined in books about running, such as Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. The perspective is from that of the contender, rather than the champion. Illustrated throughout, the book will include drawings, archival photographs, and gorgeous images that propel the reader through a beautifully personal and universally appealing coming-of-age story.

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User Review  - mdoris - LibraryThing

I loved this book. I found it captivating. I am a swimmer. I am the mother of a former competitive swimmer (distance). I love swimming in pools, lakes, the ocean, hot springs. I like water, A LOT! Don ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FKarr - LibraryThing

the adjectives 'delightful' and 'charming' and 'pleasant' often seem to trivialize their subject, but this memoir is all of these without being trivial. I found this a very enjoyable book to read. I ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Leanne Shapton is an illustrator and author of several books, including Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris—soon to be a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. Shapton has worked as the art director of Saturday Night, the National Post's weekly news magazine in Canada; and as a columnist for Elle and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. From 2008--09, she was the art director of The New York Times Op-Ed page, and currently contributes a painted series titled “A Month Of...” on the Times' opinion page website. She is also the co-founder of J&L Books, a non-profit publisher of art and photography books. She has designed numerous book jackets for publishers in the U.S. and around the world, for authors such as Chuck Palahniuk, Joseph Heller, Zadie Smith, and Nick Hornby, as well as covers for TIME and The New York Times magazine. Prior to her career in the arts, Shapton trained for the Canadian Olympic swimming team. She attended McGill University and Pratt Institute. Shapton lives in New York City.

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