Channel Swimmer

Sometimes Love Demands an Enormous Choice.

'He had calmly plotted out his retirement: write books, travel to conferences, spend more time with Maude.' However, Maude is not thinking about cozy togetherness. After 37 years of marriage to Charles, she has decided to bring someone else back into her life and into their shared home: Silas, Charles’ best boyhood friend, as well as his swimming partner and, most recently, Maude’s lover. Charles’ attempt to flee the new reality drives him into the water. Since his childhood, he has dreamed of swimming across the English Channel, just once…
One of the most prominent writers in modern German literature, Ulrike Draesner’s brilliant new novel leads to the southern English coast, into the Channel itself, and deep into protagonist Charles’ consciousness. Old memories, new decisions, and the lonely battle against the unconquerable sea reshape his internal and external boundaries with each stroke through the water. This transforms Charles’ channel crossing into an experience on which ultimately everything rides.


»Winner of many prizes and highly praised, Ulrike Draesner is considered to be among the most exciting writers of recent German literature.«
Radio Bremen

Original Language

German, mare

Available Material

German pdf
English sample


on behalf of Kossack Agency
World excl German, Italian, Korean

© Courtesy of the author

Ulrike Draesner

born in Munich in 1962 is a German poet, a writer of long and short fiction and a translator of French and Anglo-American poetry. She studied English literature, philosophy and German literature in Munich and Oxford and was awarded her Ph.D. in German Medieval Studies with a thesis on theories of intertextuality. Over the past twenty years, she has published seven collections of poetry, five novels, several volumes of essays and short stories, radio dramas, and translations and has contributed to numerous intermedial projects.Ulrike Draesner has been awarded poetic readerships and teaches as professor for German Literature and Creative Writing at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut Leipzig. For her poetry and prose she received various scholarships and literary awards, amongst which two nominations for the German Book Prize.Ulrike Draesner lives in Berlin and Oxford.