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Powell's Books Presents Bonnie Tsui in Connversation With Crissy Van Meter
Bonnie Tsui’s WHY WE SWIM (Algonquin) is an immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming — and on human behavior itself. We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the 21st century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. WHY WE SWIM is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water — despite its dangers — seduces us and why we come back to it again and again. Tsui will be joined in conversation by Crissy Van Meter, author of Creatures.

Aug 6, 2020 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Bonnie Tsui
Bonnie Tsui lives, swims, and surfs in the Bay Area. A longtime contributor to the New York Times and California Sunday Magazine, she has been the recipient of the Jane Rainie Opel Young Alumna Award from Harvard University, the Lowell Thomas Gold Award, and a National Press Foundation Fellowship. Her last book, American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods, won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and Best of 2009 Notable Bay Area Books selection.
Crissy Van Meter
Crissy Van Meter is a writer in Los Angeles and the author of Creatures. Her writing has appeared in VICE, Catapult, Guernica, ESPN, The Hairpin, Golly, VIDA, and Bustle. She has an MFA from the New School. She teaches creative writing at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the founder of the literary project Five Quarterly, and the managing editor for Nouvella Books. She serves on the board of directors for the literary non-profit, Novelly.