Mary Swan

The Deep


The Deep is a vivid, accomplished tale of twin sisters caught up in the mania that was World War I. The year is 1918. Esther and Ruth, living a life privileged and protected, embark upon a journey to France that will profoundly affect their relationship with each other, those they leave behind and those they have yet to meet. (Porcupine’s Quill, 2002)

Malahat Review Novella Prize, 2000
O. Henry Award for short fiction, 2001
Commonwealth Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean – shortlisted
ReLit Award – shortlisted


Read an Excerpt 


“The narrative is electrified by an audacious double voice, along with an equally audacious structural complexity.”
New York Times

“The subtlety and compression of this writing are rare indeed … Savour this gem and watch for Swan’s next.”
Globe & Mail

“This novella is faultlessly written, artfully controlled, unforgettable.”
Canadian Book Review Annual

“subtle and haunting”
Publishers Weekly

“a mesmerizing tale”

“[Swan’s] attention to psychological detail is as finely tuned as her prose.”
Washington Post

“a tale of haunting, terrible brilliance. … Swan’s prose is perfectly judged – sleek, imagistic, and never overwritten “
The Guardian

“The Deep is so marvellous that recommending it feels crass, like betraying a secret.” 
Vogue (UK)

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