Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton FACT

 Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton, Penguin,  pb. £12.99


Leanne Shapton's memoir is a detailed and personal account of her enduring fascination with swimming and water. In it her studies wander, the way thoughts often can when underwater, from her detailed descriptions of her life as a teenager and it's rigorous training, to moments of introspection on how the practice has informed her current work as an author and artist. Breaths of air come in the form of her illustrations, bodies moving through water are refracted and splodges of colour recall odours from childhood. Repetitive studies of a view from a hotel room match the monotony of swimming laps. Her prose is measured and elegant and transports you to the swimmers world, the roughness of the starting block against the skin, a millisecond stretched out into an eternity. Reflective and intimate, this is well worth reading this summer.

... Katia ...