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Event Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023 – 3:00pm, This event is free with first come, first served seating.
Location: Politics and Prose: 5015 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20008
Available for Pre-order via Politics and Prose:
Swimming With Ghosts, Michelle Brafman’s latest novel, is the kind of summer read that more readers are looking for these days. It has both literary and commercial appeal and it tackles some serious issues while also delivering a highly readable, page-turning story. Set in Washington, DC during the summer of 2012’s destructive derecho (a rare land hurricane), Brafman introduces readers to best friends and fellow River Run swim club moms, Gillian Cloud and Kristy Weinstein. Plunged into seemingly endless days without power, the characters find themselves unexpectedly forced to face unresolved childhood trauma and present-day betrayals. SwimSwam provided a write-up last month where the release date was announced and a brief background on the novel SwimSwam Article.
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: I’m not sure that I could NOT have written this book. For fourteen years, my family and I devoted ourselves to the wondrous, all-consuming cocoon of our county’s summer swim league. Both of my kids swam and later coached; my husband announced the Saturday morning competitions, and I repped the team which meant running the meets and getting too involved in the hiring and managing of coaches. It’s a year-round gig. No buffer exists between parents and swimmers because volunteers operate the meets. Within this tight community of hard-working adults, I watched more than a few moms and dads periodically lose their sense of equanimity.
And guess what? I had a few less than stellar moments during my tenure as a swim mom. Yikes! Full disclosure, once my daughter caught me looking up the times of a swimmer who was trash talking my son. We had a good laugh, but I had to ask myself what was pulling me into the dark corners of my psyche? What of my own stuff was I bringing to the pool? Who were my ghosts? My novels typically begin with such an uncomfy reckoning.
Back to your question, though, the specific pathway into Swimming with Ghosts materialized in the aftermath of the 2012 derecho, a fast and furious Washington D.C. area land hurricane that downed massive trees and left the city and suburbs without power for almost a full week. All the ghosts came out to play.
Come on down to Politics and Prose Saturday afternoon to hear Michelle discuss the what’s and why’s of her latest novel & pick up a copy for yourself!!
Michelle Brafman is the author of Bertrand Court: Stories and the novel Washing the Dead. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, LitHub, The Forward, Tablet, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing in the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program. www.michellebrafman.com.
Brafman will be in conversation with Bethanne Patrick. Patrick maintains a storied place in the publishing industry as a critic and as @TheBookMaven on Twitter, where she created the popular #FridayReads and regularly comments on books and literary ideas to over 200K followers. Her work appears frequently in the Los Angeles Times as well as at The Washington Post, NPR Books, and Literary Hub. She sits on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and has served on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the host of the Missing Pages podcast.