“Evocative and often lyrical… Unforgettable.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Powerful…. Cheever by way of Mario Puzo and Jorge Luis Borges.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Mesmerizing… Bondurant has created a melancholy ode to Ireland itself.”
—The Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Night Swimmer, Matt Bondurant’s utterly riveting modern gothic novel of marriage and belonging, confirms his gift for storytelling that transports and enthralls.
In a small town on the southern coast of Ireland, an isolated place only frequented by fishermen and the occasional group of bird-watchers, Fred and Elly Bulkington, newly arrived from Vermont having won a pub in a contest, encounter a wild, strange land shaped by the pounding storms of the North Atlantic, as well as the native resistance to strangers. As Fred revels in the life of a new pub owner, Elly takes the ferry out to a nearby island where anyone not born there is called a “blow-in.” To the disbelief of the locals, Elly devotes herself to open-water swimming, pushing herself to the limit and crossing unseen boundaries that drive her into the heart of the island’s troubles—the mysterious tragedy that shrouds its inhabitants and the dangerous feud between an enigmatic farmer and a powerful clan that has no use for outsiders.
The poignant unraveling of a marriage, the fierce beauty of the natural world, the mysterious power of Irish lore, and the gripping story of strangers in a strange land rife with intrigue and violence— The Night Swimmer is a novel of myriad enchantments by a writer of extraordinary talent.
Matt Bondurant's first novel The Third Translation (Hyperion 2005) was an international bestseller, translated into 16 languages worldwide. His second novel The Wettest County in the World (Scribner 2008) was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, and the basis for the feature film LAWLESS directed by John Hillcoat. His third novel, The Night Swimmer (Scribner 2010) was described as “unforgettable” by the San Francisco Chronicle and compared to Cheever and Borges by the New York Times. Matt’s short fiction has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The New England Review, Glimmer Train, and the anthology Dallas Noir. He is an assistant professor at the University of Texas, Dallas, where he lives with his wife and two children.