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Julie Checkoway is an author and documentary filmmaker. She graduated from Harvard College, the Iowa Writers Workshop, and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts individual artist grant and fellowships at writers' colonies, including Yaddo. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salt Lake Tribune, and Huffington Post.
"A good and graceful writer." "Honolulu Magazine"" "A made-for-the-screen story." "Outside Magazine"" "Lively, at times history reading more dramatic than fiction...surprises wait in both the pool and in the story of these remarkable characters."--Petoskey News "A classic underdog story...Had [Checkoway] not written this book, their exact story might have never been told, but instead, American swimming's most fascinating chapter gets the shine it deserves."--Deadspin "This true story is entertaining and absorbing and good for the soul."--Sunset Magazine "A wild, improbable story that makes for popular Hollywood movies but rarely happens in real life. But this story's real."--Maui Time "Exceptionally well-researched and well-written."--ESPN.com "A made-for-the-screen story."--Outside Magazine "A good and graceful writer."--Honolulu Magazine "This story of one (at first) seemingly unremarkable man and his effect on camp children and the world of swimming is both inconceivable and dazzling. You won't want to miss it."--Book Reporter "Checkoway takes on an incredible story of overcoming obstacles and defying the odds...poignant."--Swimming World Magazine "Shows that sometimes all you need to start something epic is a dream."--Bustle "[A] reverent tale...Through meticulous research, Checkoway brings crisp focus to a fuzzy time in American history...The book carries hints of The Boys in the Boat...Checkoway stays true to her salvage mission. She unearths characters flawed and fetching and shines an unflinching light on race and class...glorious storytelling and a triumphant, unpredictable finish."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "Save the story she has, through exhaustive research and sparkling prose."--BookPage "Checkoway's story of youthful perseverance will earn a place on the shelf with The Boys in the Boat."--The National Book Review "Checkoway carefully weaves together facts into a sweeping historical tapestry."--The Salt Lake Tribune "This captivating nonfiction, featuring engaging individuals and portraying a tumultuous time in history, chronicles Hawaii's second golden age of swimming. Sports and history enthusiasts will enjoy this title as much as book clubs and general readers."--Library Journal "An inspiring true tale of grit and determination... Checkoway skillfully weaves vivid scenes into a larger narrative with a varied cast of characters to create a stirring, though exhaustive, account ...Pair this with The Boys in the Boat."--Booklist "Remarkable real-life account...about as underdog as it gets."--Boston Globe "If the basis for the book doesn't sound amazing enough, how the story unfolds--Japan vying for the Olympic games, Pearl Harbor being bombed, WWII changing the world forever--allows the story and characters to evolve in uplifting and heartbreaking ways...it is evident that Checkoway's ability to set a scene is uncanny and accomplished...Depicting determination, discrimination, hope, anguish, hard work, and hard choices, Checkoway has created a sports history that is singular in its own right, and a fitting testament to the over 200 youths who swam for many reasons toward one goal: 'Olympics First! Olympics Always.'"--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A brightly told story of the triumph of underdogs... exuberant, well-researched...tense, vivid, and inspiring."--Kirkus Reviews "Exceptionally well-researched and well-written." ESPN.com" "A made-for-the-screen story." Outside Magazine" "A good and graceful writer." Honolulu Magazine"