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{ "item_title" : "Swimming in the Dark", "item_author" : [" Tomasz Jedrowski "], "item_description" : "NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR - A DUA LIPA BOOK CLUB PICK Imagine Call Me By Your Name set in Communist Poland and you'll get a sense of Jedrowski's moving debut about a consuming love affair amidst a country being torn apart. -- O, The Oprah MagazineCaptivating both for its shimmering surfaces and its terrifying depths. Tomasz Jedrowski is a remarkable writer. -- Justin Torres, bestselling author of We the AnimalsSet in early 1980s Poland against the violent decline of Communism, a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who eventually find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide--a stunningly poetic and heartrending literary debut for fans of André Aciman, Garth Greenwell, and Alan Hollinghurst.When university student Ludwik meets Janusz at a summer agricultural camp, he is fascinated yet wary of this hand-some, carefree stranger. But a chance meeting by the river soon becomes an intense, exhilarating, and all-consuming affair. After their camp duties are ful-filled, the pair spend a dreamlike few weeks in the countryside, bonding over an illicit copy of James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. Inhabiting a beautiful, natural world removed from society and its con-straints, Ludwik and Janusz fall deeply in love. But in their repressive Communist and Catholic society, the passion they share is utterly unthinkable.Once they return to Warsaw, the charismatic Janusz quickly rises in the political ranks of the party and is rewarded with a highly coveted government position. Ludwik is drawn toward impulsive acts of protest, unable to ignore rising food prices and the stark economic disparity around them. Their secret love and personal and political differences slowly begin to tear them apart as both men struggle to survive in a regime on the brink of collapse.Shifting from the intoxication of first love to the quiet melancholy of growing up and growing apart, Swimming in the Dark is a potent blend of romance, postwar politics, intrigue, and history. Lyrical and sensual, immersive and intense, Tomasz Jedrowski's indelible and thought-provoking literary debut explores freedom and love in all its incarnations.", "item_img_path" : "https://covers1.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/0/06/289/001/0062890018_b.jpg", "price_data" : { "retail_price" : "18.99", "online_price" : "18.99", "our_price" : "18.99", "club_price" : "18.99", "savings_pct" : "0", "savings_amt" : "0.00", "club_savings_pct" : "0", "club_savings_amt" : "0.00", "discount_pct" : "10", "store_price" : "18.99" } }
Swimming in the Dark|Tomasz Jedrowski
Swimming in the Dark
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Overview

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR - A DUA LIPA BOOK CLUB PICK

"Imagine Call Me By Your Name set in Communist Poland and you'll get a sense of Jedrowski's moving debut about a consuming love affair amidst a country being torn apart." -- O, The Oprah Magazine

"Captivating both for its shimmering surfaces and its terrifying depths. Tomasz Jedrowski is a remarkable writer." -- Justin Torres, bestselling author of We the Animals

Set in early 1980s Poland against the violent decline of Communism, a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who eventually find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide--a stunningly poetic and heartrending literary debut for fans of André Aciman, Garth Greenwell, and Alan Hollinghurst.

When university student Ludwik meets Janusz at a summer agricultural camp, he is fascinated yet wary of this hand-some, carefree stranger. But a chance meeting by the river soon becomes an intense, exhilarating, and all-consuming affair. After their camp duties are ful-filled, the pair spend a dreamlike few weeks in the countryside, bonding over an illicit copy of James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. Inhabiting a beautiful, natural world removed from society and its con-straints, Ludwik and Janusz fall deeply in love. But in their repressive Communist and Catholic society, the passion they share is utterly unthinkable.

Once they return to Warsaw, the charismatic Janusz quickly rises in the political ranks of the party and is rewarded with a highly coveted government position. Ludwik is drawn toward impulsive acts of protest, unable to ignore rising food prices and the stark economic disparity around them. Their secret love and personal and political differences slowly begin to tear them apart as both men struggle to survive in a regime on the brink of collapse.

Shifting from the intoxication of first love to the quiet melancholy of growing up and growing apart, Swimming in the Dark is a potent blend of romance, postwar politics, intrigue, and history. Lyrical and sensual, immersive and intense, Tomasz Jedrowski's indelible and thought-provoking literary debut explores freedom and love in all its incarnations.

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062890016
  • ISBN-10: 0062890018
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company
  • Publish Date: April 2021
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.35 pounds
  • Page Count: 224

Related Categories

Book Clubs: April 2021

Growing up is hard to do—but great fodder for book club discussions.

Swimming in the Dark, Tomasz Jedrowski’s electrifying coming-of-age novel, takes place in 1980s Poland during a time of political upheaval. After they meet at a summer camp, Ludwik and Janusz begin a secret, passionate romance, spending idyllic hours together in nature. But the two don’t see eye to eye politically, and their relationship is threatened by Janusz’s devotion to the country’s embattled Communist regime. Jedrowski portrays the intense connection between two men in a repressive culture with wistfulness and emotional authenticity. The novel’s rich exploration of themes like loyalty and identity, as well as its less commonly trod historical setting, make it an excellent reading group pick.

The Girl With the Louding Voice, Abi Daré’s accomplished debut, tells the story of Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl who harbors hopes of getting an education and leaving poverty behind. Adunni faces many challenges, including an arranged marriage, but she’s determined to live life on her own terms—and to help other women. Language plays a major role in this lively, inspiring story, and Adunni’s remarkable voice is one readers won’t forget. Potential discussion topics include gender norms, societal expectations and the importance of agency.

Philippe Besson’s Lie With Me is an unforgettable exploration of early love and a piercing analysis of social class and self-image. With true passion, the novel’s narrator, a successful writer named Philippe, recalls an affair he had in high school with a classmate. Because he’s the school principal’s son, Philippe keeps his love for Thomas, the son of a farmer, a secret. He doesn’t talk to Thomas at school, and Thomas senses early on that their relationship is doomed. Molly Ringwald’s (yes, that Molly Ringwald) translation from the original French captures the bittersweet emotions at play during a formative time in the young men’s lives.

Etaf Rum’s tense, dramatic novel, A Woman Is No Man, follows three generations of Palestinian American women as they try to reconcile arranged marriages and motherhood with their personal desires. The story of Isra, who immigrates to America with Adam, her husband, forms the backbone of the novel. Isra and Adam settle in Brooklyn, where she struggles with an overbearing mother-in-law. Isra eventually gives birth to four daughters, including Deya, who wishes to attend college in open defiance of family expectations. Rum explores Arab American culture in a multilayered narrative that’s rife with discussion material.

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