Swimming In The Dark

Author(s): Tomasz Jedrowski


Poland, 1980. Anxious, disillusioned Ludwik Glowacki, soon to graduate university, has been sent along with the rest of his class to an agricultural camp. Here he meets Janusz - and together, they spend a dreamlike summer swimming in secluded lakes, reading forbidden books - and falling in love. But with summer over, the two are sent back to Warsaw, and to the harsh realities of life under the Party. Exiled from paradise, Ludwik and Janusz must decide how they will survive; and in their different choices, find themselves torn apart.

Swimming in the Dark is an unforgettable debut about youth, love, and loss - and the sacrifices we make to live lives with meaning.


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'Dazzling . . . Readers will relish the indelible prose, which approaches the mastery of Alan Hollinghurst.' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

'An affecting and unusual romance, with a political undercurrent…. Jedrowski writes elegantly and evokes the emotional honesty that the lovers first thrive in, and then the grimly repressive machinery of the [Polish United Workers' Party].' --The Guardian

'[A] devastating debut novel… Worker revolts and brutal government crackdown form the backdrop to Ludwik’s search for love and possibility while living in fear of being discovered. Jedrowski’s prose captures the strain of such desires, alongside heady moments of freedom.” --Interview Magazine

'A remarkable, beautiful tale… [that] is consonant with many of the traditions of gay fiction, yet is also utterly new and entirely credible… This book radiates sensuality, humour, and human truths… The reader is left wanting more. You won’t want to miss it.”  --Literary Review

'A beautiful, captivating love story that deepened my understanding of life in communist era Poland.'  --Jessica Shattuck, New York Times bestselling author

Tomasz Jedrowski is a graduate of Cambridge University and Université de Paris. He was born in Germany to Polish parents, and has lived in several countries, including Poland, and currently lives in Paris, France, where he works in high-fashion. He speaks five languages and writes in English. This is his first novel.

General Fields

  • : 9781526604972
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : 0.276
  • : September 2019
  • : March 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tomasz Jedrowski
  • : Paperback
  • : 2020
  • : 160