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Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad to write memoir; Knopf to publish

November 04, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Diana Nyad making her historic swim from Cuba to Florida in September.
Diana Nyad making her historic swim from Cuba to Florida in September. (Andy Newman / Florida Keys…)

After swimming from Cuba to Florida in a record-breaking trip that took more than four days, 64-year old Diana Nyad said, "you're never too old to chase your dream." She's now got a chance to put that in writing -- she'll be publishing a memoir with Knopf, the publisher announced Monday.

"At first blush, this sounds like the story of an epic endurance achievement," Nyad said in a statement. "But the narrative will follow that drama and expose a lifelong search for meaning ... a hope that life is richer for reaching for the stars, a belief that the noble goal is to arrive at the end with no regrets. The Cuba swim is at long last behind me. The telling of the story lies ahead."

Nyad had tried to swim from Cuba to the U.S. on four previous occasions, but had been foiled by bad weather and jellyfish stings. Her swim, the first ever without a protective shark cage, was aided by a team that pulled a guideline for her to follow, provided her with nourishment and generated an electrical field around her to keep sharks away.

Nyad has been a prominent endurance swimmer since 1975, when she swam around the island of Manhattan in less than eight hours hours. She is a commentator on television and public radio and has authored three previous books.

In a preview of her new memoir, Nyad writes, “When I turned 60, I was taking the usual ‘life inventory’ of that age. No longer the ego driven youth accounting of what awards I had won, what Halls of Fame I had entered, what accolades I had garnered. My mom had just died, so I was staring in the proverbial mirror, throat tightening, clock ticking. Who was I? What were my values? Was I a person I could truly admire? Was I living a life I could deem worthy? I decided to find something, some quest that would demand my unwavering commitment.”

The book, as yet untitled, is tentatively scheduled for release in 2015.


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