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Byline: Sheridan Griswold
The Rowing Lesson earned Anne Landsman this year's Sunday Times fiction award. It was promoted recently in Botswana as part of a selection of new books of merit from South Africa. The Rowing Lesson was written at the "Writer's Room" a non-profit urban writer's colony in New York City where she now lives and where she continues to write.
Landsman's first novel Devil's Chimney (1997) is narrated by a middle-aged alcoholic named Connie and is about events in South Africa (not Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England) at the turn of the century and Beatrice who bore a child in mysterious circumstances.
The Rowing Lesson is dedicated to the author's father Gerald. It is a work of fiction that is exceptional in a number of ways. First, it explores new territory in the use of the English language. Second, it uses a mixture of words from the canon of medical lore that require no knowledge of scientific terminology to appreciate, as they can be enjoyed for their sound and poetry. Third, it is an exploration of the ways events in adolescence reverberate through the course of a life - in this case the Touw River at …