On a warm September night in 1991, in a quiet neighborhood north of Houston, Texas, David McGlynn’s closest friend and teammate on the high school swimming team is found murdered on his living room floor. As the crime goes unsolved and his friends turn to drugs and violence, McGlynn is vulnerable, rootless, searching for answers. He is drawn into the eccentric and often radical world of evangelical Christianity—a journey that leads him to a proselytizing campus fellowship in Southern California, on a mission to Australia, and to Salt Lake City, where a second swimming–related tragedy leaves him doubting the authenticity of his beliefs.
In his post–evangelical life, he finds himself exiled from his parents, plunged into financial chaos, and caught off–guard by the prospect of fatherhood. A new job offers hope for a new beginning, until the possibility of losing his newborn son forces him to confront the nature of everything he believes.
The memoir’s concluding chapter, which appeared in The Best American Sports Writing 2009, celebrates the author’s love for swimming, the enduring metaphor for his faith and the setting for many of his life’s momentous occasions. Rough Water charts the violent origins of one young man’s faith and the struggle to find meaning in the midst of life’s painful uncertainties.
About David McGlynn
David McGlynn grew up in Houston, Texas, and Southern California. His story collection, The End of the Straight and Narrow, won the 2008 Utah Book Award and was named an “Outstanding Achievement” by the Wisconsin Librarians’ Association. His stories and essays have appeared in Men’s Health, The Huffington Post, Best American Sports Writing, and numerous literary journals. He teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife and sons.
A lifelong swimmer, he captured a national championship in the 500–yard freestyle at the 2001 United States Masters National Championships. He continues to compete in open–water swimming races all across the country, and on most mornings is the first one in the pool.
‘A Door In The Ocean’ Leads To Dark Depths
NPR Book Reviews – July 11, 2012 (Excerpt)
Many of the key scenes in David McGlynn’s striking new memoir, A Door in the Ocean, take place at the beach or in swimming pools. McGlynn was a surfer and competitive swimmer in his school days and still squeezes into his Speedos for races like the annual 5K “Gatorman” off the coast of La Jolla, Calif. Ocean swimming, in particular, transports McGlynn to another realm, and he does a terrific job of dramatizing the allure of solitary swims in open water. Midway through his book, he writes:
In the ocean, I was not afraid, though I had plenty of reason to be. The water was dark and cold, the waves could swell to enormous heights, and no one knew where I was. I didn’t want anyone to know where I was. I wanted to edge away from myself. I’d left everything I owned on shore, and feeling the cold water work its way into the creases of skin beneath my arms and behind my knees, I was reduced to the raw dimensions of my anatomy, all body, no spirit, and so free from the burdens my spirit demanded.
As you might glean from that passage, McGlynn’s story is more in the meditative tradition of something like Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s best-seller Gift From the Sea, rather than a salty ode to the pleasures of “endless summer.” There’s ample reason for McGlynn’s gravitas. When McGlynn was in high school, his best friend and fellow teammate was shot, execution-style, alongside his older brother and father in the living room of their suburban home in Houston. McGlynn had been talking to his friend on the phone about 20 minutes before the murders occurred. The case has never been solved. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.