Ann Packer's The Dive from Clausen's Pier is one of my favorite novels. I read it when I was just about to graduate from college and move to a new city, and the story of Carrie Bell really resonated with me at a time of great change in my life.

That's why I expressed so much excitement in September when I found out about Ann Packer's new story collection, Swim Back to Me. I will admit that I was initially disappointed that Packer hadn't written another novel, but as soon as I read the stories I discovered that even in few pages her characters still drew me into their lives.

After reading Swim Back to Me, I was curious if Packer would write another novel and whether she has a favorite in the collection. I also wanted to know if she identifies with her characters—especially the two who are children of Stanford professors. (Packer's parents were Stanford professors when she was growing up.)

Are you curious, too? Read this Q&A on for Packer's answers.

Swim Back to Me went on sale this week. Already read it? Read about Carol Edgarian’s Three Stages of Amazement and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, the two books that Packer is recommending these days.

Author photo by Jonathan Sprague.

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