Wrestling Elephants is a blog, a podcast, and a forum for the exchange of ideas.

This is the fourth in a series of interviews I’m doing for Pilgrim Radio. This conversation is with the writer/illustrator Leanne Shapton, author of Swimming Studies, Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry, and Was She Pretty?, among other books. Swimming Studies won the 2012 National Book Critic's Circle Award for autobiography. As a teenager in her native Canada, Shapton was a competitive swimmer—she even trained for the Olympic trials. In my native Southern California, I was a competitive surfer—I eventually did five years on the ASP pro tour. When I read Shapton’s book I was floored by the parallels and echoes and overlaps of our aquatic lives. I sensed that we’d have lots to talk about. I was right. — Jamie Brisick


– Photos by Jamie Brisick

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Song: Dirty Three – “It Happened”