As I was finishing my last year at college in 1982-83, a book called WATER
DANCER fell into my hands somehow - I don't even remember how
- but the smooth, lyrical prose captivated me. The fact that the book
was set in the world of competitive athletics and involved some very scarred
human beings made it all the more compelling. I saw how Levin used the
sport of swimming as a thematic backdrop - almost as another character
- in bringing to life compelling characters, both male and female.
At that time, there was no Internet, no way to find out more about an
author, and for years as I prowled feminist bookstore shelves, I kept
my eye open for the name Jenifer Levin. It wasn't until
1993 that I was thrilled to find THE SEA OF LIGHT featured
as a Book Club selection. If I had thought WATER DANCER was
good, I truly had my socks knocked off by this book, once again set in
the world of swimming. THE SEA OF LIGHT is a book I return
to every few years. The prose is lovely, and the struggles of the characters,
particularly Babe, haunt and engage me still.
Little did I know that in between these two books Levin wrote two mainstream
novels, neither of which I have read. In 1996 she also published a book
of short stories. It's my hope that she continues to write about women
and lesbians. Though I have not read the three books below, I plan to
track them down, and I have a hunch I will be keeping the two to the right
If you know of a website address or email addy
for Jenifer Levin, please let me know. Email:
The Sea of Light
This site updated
at 9:00 p.m. on November 2, 2008
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