"Swim" by Lynn Sherr '62 Examines Humans' Love of Water

July 13, 2012

Sherr's Book Inspired by an Article Written for Wellesley Magazine

Wellesley synchronized swimmers from 1940s

Wellesley alumna, journalist, and author Lynn Sherr ’62 wrote an article for Wellesley magazine a few years back about one of her passions: swimming. Sherr is a lifelong swimming afficionado, and more recently an open water competitor. She swam the three miles from Europe to Asia across the Hellespont in 1:24.16.

Sherr has recently published a full-length book on the subject she loves, called Swim: Why We Love the Water. In her acknowledgements she says, “I am indebted to Alice Hummer, editor of Wellesley magazine, whose early interest in my aquatic adventures sparked the first tiny version of this book.”

The book talks history, biology, sports, sociology—of racers, philosophers, scientists… but above all a passion for water. With its release just ahead of the northern hemisphere’s swimming season, it has been reviewed in publications from The Wall Street Journal to Sports Illustrated and from O to Open Water Swimming. Said The Financial Times:

“In Swim, a joyful plunge into the history, lore, and legend of swimming, U.S. journalist and avid swimmer Lynn Sherr explores the pleasures of gliding through cool waters while preparing to follow Leander and Byron and cross the Hellespont herself.”

Sherr's swimming days date back to childhood, but Wellesley kept the lanes open. Wellesley College’s founders believed strongly that physical exercise should accompany mental exertion, and water sports and pursuits have figured strongly in its traditions. From being the first women’s rowing team in the country to having one of the best pools for competitive swimming events in the region today—with decades of synchronized swimming lessons (see photo), rowing, diving, sailing, water polo, and water aerobics in between—Wellesley shares this love of the water.




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