This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.
Today we're launching Swimmers in Winter, by Faye Guenther, which Emily Schultz praises: "Guenther traces the paths of women in the city, struggling to survive, keep themselves fed and afloat while also falling hard for each other. In turns sexy and tender, tough and head-swirling, these characters will leave you changed."
The book is currently available as an e-book, and will be out in print in August.
The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence:.
Swimmers in Winter is a short story collection of soul-searching, plot-driven character studies.
Describe your ideal reader.
No ideal. Just real.
What authors/books is your work in conversation with?
I hope my work is in conversation with other recent works of fiction about the ordinary realities of queer lives. There are so many different realities, and so many authors writing this work.
Just a few examples of the recent books I’m really interested in: Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Bryan Washington’s Lot, Nicole Dennis-Benn’s Patsy, Rosalie Knecht’s Who Is Vera Kelly?, and Jacqueline Woodson’s Red At The Bone.
Looking back down my own path of writing fiction, I think the authors I’ve learned the most from at this point are Jeanette Winterson, Eileen Myles, Samuel Delany, David Wojnarowicz, and James Baldwin. Their work just kept pulling me in.
Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories did that for me too.
What is something interesting you learned about your book/yourself/your subject during the process of creating and publishing your book?
Trust the process.
What recent work has caught your attention and inspired you lately?
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, directed by Céline Sciamma.
An important part of any book launch are the thank you’s. Go ahead, and acknowledge someone whose support has been integral to this project.
Big thanks to the amazing people at Invisible Publishing: Leigh Nash, Bryan Ibeas, Megan Fildes, Andrew Faulkner, and Julie Wilson.
What are you reading right now or next?
Souvankham Thammavongsa’s new collection of short stories, How to Pronounce Knife.
Sharp and stylistic, the trifecta of diptychs that is Swimmers in Winter swirls between real and imagined pasts and futures to delve into our present cultural moment: conflicts between queer people and the police; the impact of homophobia, bullying, and PTSD; the dynamics of women’s friendships; life for queer women in Toronto during WWII and after; the intersections between class identities and queer identities; experiences of economic precarity and precarious living conditions; the work of being an artist; dystopian worlds; and the impact of gentrification on public space. These are soul-searching, plot-driven character studies equally influenced by James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, and Elena Ferrante.
Shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award
Certain Women meets The Mars Room in this debut collection featuring three pairs of stories.
Sharp and stylistic, the trifecta of diptychs that is Swimmers in Winter swirls between real and imagined pasts and futures to delve into our present cultural moment: conflicts between queer people and the police; the impa …