Anita Shreve's Bookshelf
By William Kotzwinkle
William Kotzwinkle's Swimmer in the Secret Sea first appeared in Redbook in 1975 and was subsequently published alone in a single slim volume. It is the tale of a young couple who live in a northern woods and are on the brink of giving birth to their first child. I cannot bear to tell you here what happens; suffice it to say that there is not a single unnecessary word in this exceptional tale. It can be read in about an hour. I know this because I once read it aloud to a writing class, and at the end of the hour, there wasn't a dry eye in the room.