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Golden Hour Books

Swimming in Paris: A Life in Three Stories by Colombe Schneck (5/14/24)

Swimming in Paris: A Life in Three Stories by Colombe Schneck (5/14/24)

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Schneck, a woman’s personal journey through abortion, sex, friendship, love, and swimming

At fifty years old, while taking swimming lessons, I finally realized that my body was not actually as incompetent as I’d thought. My physical gestures had been, until then, small, worried, tense. In swimming I learned to extend them. I saw male bodies swimming beside me, and I swam past them, I was delighted, my breasts got smaller, my uterus stopped working. My body, by showing me who I was, allowed me to become fully myself.

In SeventeenFriendship, and Swimming, Colombe Schneck orchestrates a coming-of-age in three movements. Beautiful, masterfully controlled, yet filled with pathos, they invite the reader into a decades-long evolution of sexuality, bodily autonomy, friendship, and loss.

Schneck’s prose maintains an unwavering intimacy, whether conjuring a teenage abortion in the midst of a privileged Parisian upbringing, the nuance of a long friendship, or a midlife romance. Swimming in Paris is an immersive, propulsive triptych—fundamentally human in its tender concern for every messy and glorious reality of the body, and deeply wise in its understanding of both desire and of letting go.

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