Swimming in Paris

Swimming in Paris
From the award-winning and bestselling French author Colombe 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 Seventeen, Friendship, 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.

Publication Date: 
May 14, 2024