Swim - Viva La novella Winner
Winner of the 2018 Viva La Novella Prize
Jacob is an open-water, distance swimmer, a free spirit who has spent years travelling the world, working odd jobs between ocean swims. But when he receives a letter from his sick and estranged mother, he must return to his native New Zealand. He spends the summer in the small bay of his adolescence, renovating the summer shack his father had built, as he tries to make sense of the tragedies that took place there years before. It is only when Jacob discovers an island, far out to sea, that he imagines a chance for redemption and reconciliation with his past.
Swim is a rich and visceral novella which wrestles with what it means to become an adult, and how a tragic past can overshadow the present. It offers an enduring ode to the sea by a striking new Antipodean voice.
'Compelling, fresh and vivid. A young man swims for his life - my heart was in my throat.' - Carrie Tiffany
Avi Duckor-Jones is an Auckland based writer. Although trained as a lawyer, Avi gained his MA in creative writing from Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters in 2013. His travel writing has been published by BBC Travel, The NZ Listener and Lonely Planet. Avi has worked as a writing instructor and trip leader for National Geographic, directed a school in Ghana, and is the recent winner of NZ Survivor.