Why We Swim
A fascinating exploration into the human relationship to swimming and our innate connection to water.
'A jewel of a book, a paean to the wonders of water and our place within it' James Nestor, bestselling of author of Breath
'Glorious' The New York Times
Take a dive into the deep and discover what it is about water that seduces us, heals us and brings us together.
Join writer and swimming Bonnie Tsui as she explores the unique skill of swimming from the five angles of survival, wellbeing, community, competition and flow. Propelled by stories of polar swim champions, a Baghdad swim club, Olympian athletes and modern-day samurai swimmers, Why We Swim takes us around the globe in a remarkable, all-encompassing account of the world of swimming. This is a joyous meditation on our innate connection to water and a true celebration of the wonders of swimming.
Praise for Why We Swim
Magnificent. Only a truly great story can hold my attention and Why We Swim had me nailed to the chair . . . I love this book.Christopher McDougall, bestselling author of Born to Run
A beautifully written love letter to water and a fascinating story. I was enchanted.Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The only thing better than reading Bonnie Tsui's writing about swimming is swimming itself-and both are sublime. Why We Swim is an aquatic tour de force, a captivating story filled with adventure, meditation, and celebration.Susan Casey, New York Times bestselling author of The Wave and Voices in the Ocean
This is a jewel of a book, a paean to the wonders of water and our place within it.James Nestor, author of Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves
Why We Swim is a gorgeous hybrid of a book. Bonnie Tsui combines fascinating reporting about some of the world's most remarkable swimmers with delightful meditations about what it means for us naked apes to leap in the water for no apparent reason. You won't regret diving in.Carl Zimmer, author of She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity
Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, [Tsui] conveys the appeal of 'an unflinching giving-over to an element.' An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans' relationship with the waterKirkus Reviews
Eclectic, well-crafted . . . Readers will enjoy getting to know the people and the facts presented in this fascinating bookPublishers Weekly
Tsui is a poetic writer whose flowing, immersive prose and colorful storytelling will hold significant appeal for readers--especially swimmers--of all curiositiesShelf Awareness
Tsui's history of the human relationship with water is compelling and profound, in writing so fluid it mimics the flow of her subjectBuzzFeed
Why We Swim is a celebration of the many varieties of joy that swimming brings to our oxygen-breathing speciesForeword Reviews
A thoughtful, moving, beautifully written ode to the aquatic artSan Francisco Chronicle
An enthusiastic and thoughtful work ... gloriousThe New York Times
A thoughtful inquiry into human natureBustle
Why We Swim flows beautifully ... Tsui is an excellent storyteller and she captures the narrative quality of swimming: the way you move through your swim, whether in a pool or lake or ocean, as your rhythm constantly changes, or the birds fly overhead, or your mind drifts from counting strokes to daydreamingLiterary Review
A love letter to the healing qualities and timeless joy of slipping into the waterThe Irish Times