Swim Home to the Vanished


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Brendan Shay Basham (Diné) is a fiction writer, poet, educator, and former chef, born in Alaska and raised in Northern Arizona. He received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and a BA in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College. His work has appeared in Puerto del Sol, Santa Fe Literary Review, Yellow Medicine Review, and Juked, among other publications. He is a recipient of Poetry Northwest's inaugural James Welch Prize for Indigenous writers, the Ucross Foundation's first Fellowship for Native American Writers, and fellowships from the Truman Capote Literary Trust, Tin House, and Writing By Writers. Basham lives in Baltimore, where he runs a make-believe café with his wife and dog.


"Swim Home to the Vanished is a lush and fantastic journey through strange lands and minds from an incandescent new voice full of my kind of melancholic brilliance and unromantic magic. The book devastates buoyantly, sensually, like some culinary chimera rising from heretofore unknown waters to take you under and wrap you like a song. Brendan Basham's novel is the announcement of an emerging writer fully formed." -- Tommy Orange, author of There There

"Basham shines in his depictions of Damien's yearning and catharsis....Readers will find much to admire in the author's unique voice." -- Publishers Weekly

"Swim Home to the Vanished is a lush, soulful saga about profound loss and the mysteries of carrying on under its weight. An audacious debut novel bristling with insight, imagination, and real heart." -- Claire Vaye Watkins, author of I Love You, But I've Chosen Darkness

"Sumptuous, mysterious....[Readers] can revel in being swept away by Basham's creation of a sensually rich world in constant and often violent change." -- Booklist

"In Swim Home to the Vanished, Brendan Basham has delivered a profoundly moving novel of originality, full of grief and hope. It is a bold and powerful new work of fiction." -- Brandon Hobson, author of The Removed

"Basham's debut novel is complex and enigmatic, featuring a mythic sensibility and elements of magical realism, including the early stages of Damien's metamorphosis into a fish and other characters' taking on the physical characteristics of lizards and insects. The novel's prose is lush and evocative, and there's an almost erotic charge to Basham's writing about food, a central element in the story." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Basham has a particular gift for transmuting inner intangible turmoils into corporeal form; the various characters' physical transformations from human to creature are a creative epigenetic exploration of the ways in which trauma and grief shape who we are." -- BookPage

"[A]n incantatory trip through place and time, fueled by grief and animated by magic... Right away, we know we are to be guided by a writer (Basham is Diné) with an ear for poetry who also is attuned to the lasting scars caused by westward colonial expansion in the United States... Out of this emerge scenes full of natural wonder, deeply imagined and described in bravura prose, the novelistic equivalent of a big-screen final reel."
-- The Star Tribune