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  • Swimming In Blue Shadows

Swimming In Blue Shadows

J.P. Linstroth

English , 2022/11 Proverse Hong Kong

Tags: Mixed: Short Story and poetry Collection

216 x 140 mm , 104pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-8492-60-2

  • US$22.00

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Swimming in Blue Shadows is a collection of five short stories and ten poems on diverse subjects and styles, written over a number of years. Each story grew out the author’s personal experiences and in many ways represents a different phase of his life. The subjects of the short stories are: a wild boar hunt, a failed relationship, a Nahuatl flower seller, a bullfight, and a Belizean archaeology expedition. The poems, also, grew from personal experiences or centre on themes of particular interest to the author: AI (Artificial Intelligence), Afghanistan, COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Native Americans, love, depression, death, loss, and youthful exuberance. The title of the collection, a phrase from the first story in it, suggests the nearness of death in its innumerable and nebulous guises, pinpointing especially how the various protagonists face death, as if swimming in death’s blue shadows, hidden yet there.


The stories and poems of “Swimming in Blue Shadows” take their themes from many of the issues in the consciousness of reflective people, especially young adults despite their brashness and confidence, as they grow towards full maturity; fear, love, loss, depression, loneliness, the unknown, the future, death. Throughout the collection, however, and particularly in the stories and somewhat against the odds, we hear underlying hints of impressionable, perhaps wide-eyed, optimism and perhaps hope that sustains faith in and enthusiasm for the human condition’s outcome, despite what is evident at first glance. Set against the varied backgrounds of Florida wetlands, Belizean forests, hustling Central American streets, the arid hills and scented almond groves of Afghanistan and the universal Covid pandemic, among others, youthful cheerfulness in exploration and discovery bubbles through what at first sight might be considered a gloomy outlook. Through engaged personal observation, rather than the single pillar of imaginative construction, the author conveys a sense of the “no man is an island” variety of compassion that places him in the educated quarter of today’s socio-political spectrum. For sensitive people with the desire to understand and with a taste for a lyrical story “Swimming in Blue Shadows” is compelling reading.

Philip Chatting, Winner of the Proverse Prize 2014, author of The Snow Bridge and Other Stories (Proverse, 2015)

J. P. Linstroth lives in the United States. He obtained a D.Phil. (PhD) in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford, UK and is an Adjunct Professor at Barry University and Faculty Member at the Catholic University of New Spain (UCNE). His books include: Politics and Racism Beyond Nations: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Crises (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022); Epochal Reckonings (one of two winners of the Proverse Prize 2019); Marching Against Gender Practice: Political Imaginings in the Basqueland (Lexington Books, 2015); and The Forgotten Shore (Poetic Matrix Press, 2017). Linstroth was a signatory of the Brussels Declaration for Peace to end ETA violence (2010). He was a co-recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Grant (2005-2007) to study Cubans, Haitians, and Guatemalan-Mayan immigrants in South Florida. He was also awarded a J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholar Grant (2008-2009) to study urban Amerindians in Manaus, Brazil and for a Visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM). In 2017, he was awarded a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. Linstroth serves on the Board of Directors of the International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF). In 2019, he received a medal as a “Gentleman of Merit” and was inducted into The Noble Order of Bernardo de Galvez.

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