The History of Swimming
They entered the world just five minutes apart, twins swimming out of the womb together, already arguing about who got to lead the way. They grew up together, best friends with rhyming names. They even went to the same college—where one of them had a nervous breakdown, and the other didn't. Grown-up, one of them became a suicidal drunk, the other a success. Now, one is missing, and the other has just three days to find him. It really happened. The History of Swimming details Kim Powers' harrowing and frantic search for his twin brother Tim—using letters they wrote to each other over the years as a sort of roadmap that takes him to Texas, the setting of their greatest triumphs and tragedies. But will Tim be there? And will he be dead—or alive?
Read the first chapter from The History of Swimming
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Making a Splash—The History of Swimming Book Launch Party
With Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America
September 26, 2006
"It is a book about twin brothers... it is a love letter and a detective story after one of them goes missing after the age of twenty eight... I love this book."
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The Leonard Lopate Show on NPR
September 19, 2006
"Not only articulates the complex and enduring bond between twins, but also relates a suspenseful and moving weekend when those bonds were severely tested."
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On ABC's News Now "Perspectives: The Lives of Twin Brothers"
Princeton Theological Seminary—"Searching for a Twin"
May 30, 2007
July 31, 2007
"I'm convinced I remember us together in the womb, fighting it out about who was going to go first. I stamped my little feet and said, 'Okay, I'll go.' I've been afraid of water ever since."
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"There were plenty of times when Tim and I thought that either God didn't exist or that he had turned his back on us. For a churchgoing Southern Baptist kid those were pretty radical things to think."
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Scene from the book launch party!
"This is a riveting memoir, sensitive, wise and unsparing. The History of Swimming teaches so much about lives where the 'beams of love' are interlaced with jagged glass. Twin brothers, joined forever in hope and pain and laughter—and longing—for the place they can swim in the sun."
"Raw and engrossing."
—New York Times Book Review (read the full review)
"A powerful nod to familial bonding, written with verve and genuine affection."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Powers's strength in relating his own personal struggles within the context of his twin's holds this unique memoir together."
"A haunting memoir...Powers writes with insight and intelligence about his brother's flaws and fears and the telepathic tendencies of souls separated by a few breaths."
"Kim Powers has written a personal and powerful memoir about life with his twin, detailing their relationship from the womb to adulthood with unfettered honesty. With the eye of a crack journalist and the heart of a loving brother, Kim has written a story that will appeal to those who have loved 'the least of their brothers': the addict, the mentally ill, and the emotionally distant."
—Best-selling novelist Adriana Trigiani
"An often humorous, moving look at one man's complicated relationship with his brother. It is one of the few recent memoirs to revolve around an actual plot, which gives it a distinct advantage over other contemporary stories about coming out in hostile territory, the dark specter of an AIDS diagnosis in one's family, or coping with a mentally ill relative. Highly recommended."
"An exquisitely written examination of the limits of fraternal love....It's the bittersweet song of love and loss an entire generation of gay men has sung-though rarely as sweetly as Powers does....A supremely necessary read."
"An intensely intelligent and touching memoir, The History of Swimming is as much a journey of personal growth as it is a poignant tribute to a brilliant, anguished, and deeply loved brother."
—Barnes and Noble "Discover" pick citation
"The History of Swimming makes it easy to stay tuned as it builds into an engaging combination of memoir, confession, thriller and travelogue."
—Dallas Morning News
Carroll & Graf, hardcover, July 2006, ISBN: 9780786717231
Da Capo Press, paperback, September 2007, ISBN: 978-0786719372