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Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski

Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski


You were right when you said that people can't always give us what we want from them. 

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.




'Elegant, compelling and full of melancholy beauty ... I will keep it on my shelves alongside novels by Alan Hollinghurst, Edmund White and other classics in the gay canon' - EVENING STANDARD

'One of the most astonishing contemporary gay novels we have ever read … A masterpiece' - Uli Lenart, ATTITUDE

'A beautiful novel, and at its heart it was an amazing love story and I think that's something that everyone is looking for' - BBC Radio 4 Open Book, Editor's Pick

'Marvellous, precise, poignant writing; the reader is happy to be overwhelmed. The highest talent at work' - SEBASTIAN BARRY

'A lyrical exploration of the conflict between gay love and political conformity. Jedrowski is an authentic new international star' - EDMUND WHITE


A Guardian Book of the Year
Longlisted for HWA Debut Crown 2020
Longlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize 2020

  • Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury

    Publication Date: 18 February 2021

    ISBN: 9781526604989

    Pages: 256

    Format: Paperback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

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