The Night Swimmers

Peter Rock

ISBN: 9781641290005

Published: March, 2019

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Hardcover $25.99

eBook $14.99

Peter Rock

Portland, OR

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Description

Beneath the surface of Lake Michigan there are vast systems: crosscutting currents, sudden drop-offs, depths of absolute darkness, shipwrecked bodies, hidden places. Peter Rock’s stunning autobiographical novel begins in the ’90s on the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin. The narrator, a recent college graduate, and a young widow, Mrs. Abel,...

Beneath the surface of Lake Michigan there are vast systems: crosscutting currents, sudden drop-offs, depths of absolute darkness, shipwrecked bodies, hidden places. Peter Rock’s stunning autobiographical novel begins in the ’90s on the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin. The narrator, a recent college graduate, and a young widow, Mrs. Abel, swim together at night, making their way across miles of open water, navigating the currents and swells carried by the rise and fall of the lake. The nature of these night swims, and of his relationship to Mrs. Abel, becomes increasingly mysterious to the narrator as the summer passes, until the night that Mrs. Abel disappears.

Twenty years later, the narrator—now married with two daughters—tries to understand those months, his forgotten obsessions and dreams. Digging into old notebooks and letters, as well as clippings he’s preserved on the “psychic photography” of Ted Serios and scribbled quotations from Rilke and Chekhov, the narrator rebuilds a world he’s lost—those searching and uncertain drives, his vague wish to be a writer. He also searches for clues to the fate of Mrs. Abel, and begins once again to swim distances in dark water.

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“This beautiful, strange novel takes us into the foreign country where those called homeless are at home, the city is a wilderness, and the greater wilderness lies beyond. Fascinating and moving, it tells us with great tenderness how human love goes wrong.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin
“An electrically charged, bone-deep, and tender tale of loss and partial redemption. Surreal, haunting, elegiac.”
—James Ellroy
“Peter Rock is one of the most talented writers around.”
–Dan Chaon
“A stunning novel about faith and disillusionment and the lingering power of the past. In spare, lyrical prose, and with immense compassion, Peter Rock illuminates a strange and little-known chapter in American religious history.”
—Tom Perrotta
“I sat down to read Peter Rock's new novel, The Night Swimmers, and didn’t get up again until I’d finished, heart in throat, tears in eyes, mind spinning with all the things this kaleidoscopic book is about.”
–Susan Choi, author of My Education