The Deep and Other Stories by Mary Swan

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“A writer who arrives with grace and authority,” says Alice Munro about the superb short stories of Mary Swan, winner of the First Prize in the 2001 O. Henry Awards.

In The Deep and Other Stories, Mary Swan gives us brilliant stories that illuminate the remarkable moments in life, covering a wide range of human thoughts and emotions in a unique, imaginative, and profoundly moving way. “The Deep,” her O. Henry Prize–winning story and the centerpiece of this book, tells of twin sisters, their lives amid the horror and confusion of World War I, and the deep connection between them.

The mysterious bonds that entwine people are at the heart of other stories as well. Whether vacationing at the Belgian seaside (“By the Sea, By the Sea”) or sharing an apartment in Spain (“Spanish Grammar”), Swan’s characters discover the emotional foundations that are part of being human. Imaginative, poetic, and true, The Deep and Other Stories reveals something unexpected—and magnificent—about what it means to be alive, to feel love and passion, to know and experience the world’s pains and pleasures in a way that is rooted in, and ultimately the essence of, the human condition. As Mary Gordon says, “‘The Deep’ marks the deep strangeness of the project of being alive....It flowers entirely on its own terms, and the terms are rich and strange.”

About Mary Swan

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Mary Swan is the winner of the 2001 O. Henry Award for short fiction and has been published in several Canadian literary magazines, including The Malahat Review and Best Canadian Stories 92, as well as American publications such as Harper’s, the Ontario Review, and Sudden Fiction Continued. She lives with her husband and daughter near Toronto, where she works in the library of the University of Guelph.
Published April 1, 2003 by Random House. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Swan's subtle and haunting debut collection of short stories sketches the horrors of war, as well as other, quieter kinds of conflict.

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