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Publication date
17th May 2022


Gallic Books



WEL exc AUS & NZ

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US publication date
17th May 2022



The Swimmers

Author Chloe Lane


Erin’s mother has motor neurone disease and has decided to take her fate into her own hands. As Erin looks back at her twenty-six-year-old self, she can finally tell the story of the unimaginable task she faced one winter.

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When an affair ends badly and takes her career down with it, 26-year-old Erin leaves Auckland to spend the holiday weekend with her aunt, uncle and terminally ill mother at their suburban family home. On arrival she learns that her mother has decided to take matters into her own hands and end her life – the following Tuesday.

Tasked with fulfilling her mother’s final wishes, Erin finds herself navigating an eccentric neighbourhood, and her complicated family of former competitive swimmers. She must summon the strength she would normally find in the water as she prepares to lose the fiery, independent woman who raised her alone.

Longlisted for the 2021 Ockham Fiction award, The Swimmers is a witty, clever, quietly moving story from a bold New Zealand talent.

Longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2021
‘A beautiful, heart rending and  totally absorbing narrative, a compulsive page turner from start to end. This account of a mother and daughter’s last days together, defining their love for each other, even as language has literally deserted Erin’s mother, and rendered Erin inarticulate in the face of inevitable loss, made me weep in places. And yet, Chloe Lane offers gifts of laughter, turning a mood from intensity to outright and sometimes outrageous comedy with quick and subtle shifts of tone. I wish I had written this novel; its a little masterpiece’ Fiona Kidman, author of This Mortal Boy
‘An intense, moving and darkly comic story about unrepentant, difficult women’ New Zealand Herald
‘By turns touching, resonate, fiercely candid, and beautifully written’ Jill Ciment, author of The Body in Question
‘The Swimmers has the kind of intelligent and beautiful quiet that explodes a brightness deep within the reader… I can’t remember the last time I read a more generous book about care, courage and figuring it out’ Pip Adam, author of The New Animals
‘Strangely compelling . . . intensely moving’ Academy of New Zealand Literature
‘The surprising thing about The Swimmers is that it is often funny’ Stuff.co.nz
‘Lane confronts issues surrounding euthanasia with enormous sensitivity but with lashes of humour and humanity’ NZ Booklovers
‘A remarkable book’ ANZ Lit Lovers
Chloe Lane

Meet the author

Chloe Lane is a writer and the founding editor of Hue+Cry Press. The Swimmers is her first novel and was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2021. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband and young son.

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