Swimming to Jerusalem is a new novel by Seth Bornstein, inspired in part by his many years living in the West Village, which he’ll discuss along with other inspirations for and stories behind his new literary outing. The novel follows Bram beginning in 1980, when he was the coolest, most confident, and self-assured guy in the world – or so he thought. After his discharge from the Israel Defense Forces and finding himself in Paris three years later he is anything but. Aimless and disillusioned, he has no idea what comes next. Busking on the Boulevard Saint-Germain he meets Liz. Following her back to New York, he moves into her apartment on Grove Street.

Thirty-two years later the “next” has happened. Despite any grand plan, Bram’s life took its course. Liz did have a grand plan – and he goes along for the ride. Alternating between past and present, Swimming to Jerusalem is the story of that journey. This includes the family he never imagined, a career he fell into, and memories that are like rogue waves, strong and unexpected.

Everything can change in a heartbeat. But the past never does. We know that memory should be a reference, not a residence – though sometimes that just isn’t possible.

Kirkus Reviews called Swimming to Jerusalem, “A great novel of New York in the Trump era and a tender look at the way the progression of time makes immigrants of us all.”

Copies of the book will be available for sale for $20 via cash or Venmo. 25% of proceeds will be donated to Village Preservation.

About the author:

Seth Bornstein has written plays, short stories, and essays. Swimming to Jerusalem is his first novel. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended Parsons School of Design and has had a career in urban economic development with positions in the public, private, and academic sectors. He is an avid though very slow swimmer and has participated in winter swimming competitions around the globe. A consummate city guy, he prides himself on never needing a GPS and can usually find a parking space anywhere. He resides in New York City with his wife, Diane Loughran.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023
6:00 pm

Tuesday, August 22nd



Pre-registration required. Free

Location: Hudson Park NYPL

Click here for info on this past program.