Anansi International Imprint Logo

Swimming Home

Written by Deborah Levy

  • 168 Pages
  • 9781770893320
  • 8.25" x 5.375"
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Psychological
  • FICTION / Thrillers



Publication Date October 13, 2012

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and selected as a New York Times Notable Book, Swimming Home is a sexy psychological thriller from a highly acclaimed writer.

Poet Joe and his war-correspondent wife Isabel arrive with their daughter and another couple to a rented villa in the south of France to discover a body floating face down in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a sexy, mysterious young woman who walks naked out of the water and straight into the heart of their holiday. But why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s enigmatic wife invite her to stay?

Taking place over a single week, Swimming Home reveals how a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams. Both profound and thrilling, Deborah Levy explores what it means to be alive and how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.

Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2012

Selected for the Huffington Post Best Books 2012

Short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Award 2012

Selected for the Best Books: Editors' Picks 2012

Short-listed for the Waterstones UK Author of the Year 2012

Selected for the New York Times Notable Books 2012


Deborah Levy
Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. She is the author of highly praised novels, including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, and Billy and Girl. Swimming Home, her most recent novel, was serialized on BBC Radio 4 as a Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.


"Deborah Levy's storytelling is allusive, elliptical, and disturbing. Her touch is gentle, often funny, and always acute . . . This a prize winner." Independent

"Swimming Home explores the devastating effect that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a single week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams.”" Man Booker Prize Jury

"The inclusion [on the Booker longlist] of Deborah Levy's Swimming Home, one of the finest new novels I have read (and already reread) in a long time, seems like a very good omen indeed. It radiates the sensual languor of sun-drenched afternoons in the south of France and the disquieting, uncanny beauty only perceived by a true daytime insomniac." The Guardian

"Swimming Home is a statement on the power of the unsaid. Magisterial . . . Themes, phrases, and images recur in rhythmic cycles through this frugal novel. Levy's cinematic clarity and momentum convey confusion with remarkable lucidity." Times Literary Supplement

"A stealthily devastating book . . . Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader . . . This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast." Daily Telegraph

"As sharp as a wasp sting." Sunday Times

"Swimming Home is a beautiful, delicate book underpinned by a complexity that only reveals itself slowly to the reader." Financial Times

"Levy can tell a story, no doubt about that, but it is her use of language, as well as her subversive streak, that makes her intriguing, even a bit dangerous." Irish Times

"... an excellent story, told with subtlety and menacing tension ..." Wall Street Journal

"... utterly beautiful and lyrical throughout, even at the most tragic turns ... deserving of the widest readership." Kirkus

"Exquisite ... [Levy] effortlessly summons people and landscapes." New Yorker

"Swimming Home [has] adequate literary heft and staying power to keep it vital not just this year, but next." Denver Post

"A qualified triumph." Sydney Morning Herald

"...dark and erotic...elegant language and subtle, uncanny plot...the seductive pleasure of Levy’s prose stems from its layered brilliance." Washington Post

"... spare, disturbing and frequently funny ... unlike anything but itself ... [a] wry, accomplished novel." New York Times

"A lot of fun to read." LA Review of Books