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Learning to Swim: And Other Stories (Vintage International) by [Swift, Graham]
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Learning to Swim: And Other Stories (Vintage International) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Swift's collection of tales about lovers at odds with each other exhibits strong characterizations but lacks the revelatory moments we expect from short fiction. Swift's new novel Ever After , forthcoming from Knopf in March, was reviewed in Fiction Forecasts (Jan. 20).
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description

Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. It will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction. The series will be extensive and open-ended and will provide school students with a range of edited texts taken from a wide geographical spread.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3004 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (September 19, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 19, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00957T49M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,221,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Graham Swift, Learning to Swim and Other Stories (Washington Square Press, 1982)
Graham Swift is something of a one-trick pony, actually, but the one trick he does he does exceptinoally well. This is less obvious when you're reading the man's wonderful novels-- Waterland, for instance, which someone will hopefully soon canonize as one of the classics of twentieth-century literature-- but when you get digging into a story collection, you realize that Swift, or a close family member, was in the throes of the nasty ending of a relationship while he was writing these stories. His main characters, at least those of an age to be so,
are almost alwast divorced men, and the tale of the leaving wife is either the main thread of the story or part of the circumstance leading up to the main part of the story. Swift just takes that tale and paints it with different hues.
Any fan of Mondrian or his brethren will hasten to comment here that different hues are usually enough to make the same thing interesting anew. Indeed, and such is the case with Swift's stories. Recognizing the similarity between the characters doesn't make them any less interesting, and it certainly doesn't lessen the top-notch quality of Swift's writing, which has
yet to flag in any book of his I've read even for an instant. The man is truly gifted.
It's likely the publication date will give some readers pause. Yes, it's a collection of short stories published during the nineteen eighties. And yes, that should set off justifiable alarm bells in the reader who's been turned off to eighties lit. But what characterizes the good eighties lit (Vanderhaeghe, Swift, McInerney on his good days) and separates it from the bad eighties lit (Ellis, McInerney on his bad days) is emotion.
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Format: Paperback
Learning To Swim is a set of short stories by Graham Swift. Their focus is fundamentally and repeatedly on human relationships, especially those within the nuclear family. And though it would be wrong to suggest that Learning To Swim and the other stories delve deeply into the human psyche, it would also be wrong to dismiss them as light touches on the fabric of life.

In the title story, for instance, we have a family on holiday. The father is a proud achiever, very much the centre of attention, usually by his own demand. The mother is apparently a self-confident poser, beautiful and both conscious and proud of the fact. We feel there is potential for conflict here if, at any point, life does not work out exactly as these participants demand it should.

And then there's a child. Perhaps the child is the image of both parents, perhaps neither. The parents might compete over the youngster, but the parents might also be trying to impose themselves of on the growing personality. And so the child, itself, becomes a site of conflict, a conflict that is not voiced in any way other than a competition over its very identity. How might this appear from the child's point of view? It may be the case that these particular parents might not seek to canvas this position, since it might just conflict with their presumptions. But then the child might just have a mind of its own, and indeed its own life to live.

It is a simple idea and a small element of what surely would be a larger picture, but, even with its limited objectives, the story really does come to life. In a short space we come to know these people intimately.
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Format: Paperback
A collection of short stories which make me wonder about the authenticity of life and living,marriage,relationship,kinship and many more. Graham Swift wrote with intense drama of people and events. His writing rational,shrewd and truthful,sometimes seem dark but also realistic. His stories touched on the meaning of faithful marriage, the importance of finding yourself,your identity and also painful truth of learning to be part of the society--practical versus idealism.
For example, in the title story Swift make readers looked at a couple from their respective point of view. How the husband and wife both at some points of their marriage wanted out but stayed on and continued to pretend as happily married couple. How they used their young son's swimming lesson as their source to avenge against each other... There is also an old doctor vent his anger(of his young wife's affair) on a seriously ill patient. He refused to acknowledge the fact that his patient is very sick,just like he don't want to face with the consequences of his wife is carrying another man's baby... Learning to accept and to live with what you got. Each stories some how convert a message in a painful yet truthful way of looking at modern days. Maybe this is life and it goes on.
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Format: Hardcover
Great writer, great book! Enjoy it, dear friends!
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