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News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore

Gregory O'Brien

Greg O'Brien, News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore
Categories: 21st Century, New Zealand
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • At once a travel book, autobiographical novel, memoir and historical survey, News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore begins with its narrator suspended in the salty, buoyant waters of the Mediterranean and develops into a discursive essay on family life, love and deep sea diving. Not only is the book a paean to the south of France, it is a history of things that explode under water, taking the reader by way of the trenches of World War One and the Rainbow Warrior bombing to the writer's experiences of diving off Menton. Adrift on an ocean of art history, literature and music, the book introduces a cast of underwater characters including Jacques Cousteau, Dominique Prieur, Henri Matisse and the naked river-swimming Mother Aubert, a 19th century nun who presents something of a role-model for the narrator as he negotiates various streams of thought.
    Born in Matamata, New Zealand, in 1961, Gregory O'Brien has lived in Wellington since 1989, where he is writer, painter and senior curator at City Gallery Wellington. As well as numerous pamphlets, he has published seven collections of poetry, among them Days Beside Water (Carcanet, 1994) and Afternoon of an ... read more
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