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192 pages, Hardcover
First published February 22, 2022
Otsuka’s fiction has been published in Granta and Harper’s and read aloud on PRI’s “Selected Shorts” and BBC Radio 4’s “Book at Bedtime.” She lives in New York City, where she writes every afternoon in her neighborhood café.
PEOPLE TO WATCH out for: aggressive lappers, determined thrashers, oblivious backstrokers, stealthy sub-mariners, middle-aged men who insist upon speeding up the moment they sense they are about to be over-taken by a woman, tailgaters, lane Nazis, arm Hailers, ankle yankers, the pickup artist (we are not that kind of a pool), the peeper (a highly regarded children's TV host in his life above ground who is best known below ground for his swift lane change - Nubile new female swimmer in lane four! and his "accidental" underwater bump: So sorry), the woman in lane four with the wide, overextended stroke (too much yoga) ….
The pool is located deep underground, in a large cavernous chamber many feet beneath the streets of our town. Some of us come here because we are injured, and need to heal. We suffer from bad backs, fallen arches, shattered dreams, broken hearts, anxiety, melancholia, anhedonia, the usual above-ground afflictions.
One of these swimmers is Alice, in whose memory cracks are also beginning to appear. Without the fellowship of other swimmers and the routine of her daily laps, she is plunged into dislocation and chaos, swept into memories of her childhood, the Japanese American incarceration camp in which she spent the war, and the child she lost.