20th Anniversary Sale: Swimming with Maya


Today is the 20th anniversary of the publication of Swimming with Maya by Eleanor Vincent, a memoir that has twice earned recognition as a Best Seller by The New York Times.  

Swimming with Maya has been hailed by booklovers and professional reviewers alike, with nearly 500 reader reviews on Amazon, more than 600 on Goodreads, and dozens of reviews from authors and industry publications, including Booklist and Creative Nonfiction Magazine:

  • "Vincent's poignant decision to donate Maya's organs will resonate with even hard-boiled readers." ~Booklist 
  • "Powerful prose with a meaningful and memorable message." ~Lee Gutkind, Founder, Creative Nonfiction Magazine 
Today is also the 32nd anniversary of the death of the eponymous Maya. Read on for a special message from author Eleanor Vincent and for more information about Swimming with Maya.

Swimming with Maya Turns 20: Celebrating Grief Recovery and Organ Donation 

By Eleanor Vincent

When my 19-year-old daughter Maya died after a freak fall from a horse she was riding bareback, the universe handed me the biggest writing assignment of my life. That was on April 6, 1992. Twelve years later I published Swimming with Maya: A Mother’s Story (Capital Books, 2004), a memoir about love, loss, and organ donation. 

Like Maya herself, the book has exceeded my expectations. Republished by Dream of Things in 2013, the memoir has sold more than 20,000 copies and made The New York Times Best Sellers list twice. Nearly 500 people have reviewed it on Amazon and countless more have become organ donors because of our story.

My decision to donate allowed us to navigate through grief knowing that a miracle had emerged from a tragedy. April is National Donate Life Month. Each year, I write about the importance of choosing to become an organ and tissue donor. I do this to honor Maya, to help others experience the miracle of donation, and to celebrate the recipients of our gift. Please sign a donor card and tell your loved ones about your decision. Visit Donate Life America to learn more about organ donation and to register to become a donor..

For the next week, Swimming with Maya will be on sale. Help increase awareness of organ donation and grief recovery by buying a copy for yourself or a friend and reviewing the book on Amazon, Goodreads, or your Substack or website. To learn more about my work, please visit EleanorVincent.com.

Swimming with Maya

Genre: Memoir, Creative Nonfiction
Print edition sale price: $12.50
Ebook sale price: $0.99

Swimming with Maya demonstrates the remarkable process of healing after the traumatic death of a loved one. Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent. Maya, the eldest, was a high-spirited and gifted young woman. As a toddler, Maya was an angelic tow-head, full of life and curiosity. As a teenager, Maya was energetic and independent - and often butted heads with her mother. But Eleanor and Maya were always close and connected, like best friends or sisters, but always also mother and daughter. 

​Then at age 19, Maya mounts a horse bareback as a dare and, in a crushing cantilever fall, is left in a coma from which she will never recover. Eleanor's life is turned upside down as she struggles to make the painful decision about Maya's fate. 

Ultimately Eleanor chooses to donate Maya's organs. Years later, she is able to hear Maya's heart beat in the chest of the heart recipient. Along the way, Eleanor re-examines her relationship with her daughter, as well as Eleanor's traumatic life as a child and young woman. In a story that has been called "heartbreaking and heart-healing," Eleanor Vincent illuminates the kind of courage, creativity, faith, and sheer tenacity it takes to find one's balance after unthinkable tragedy. 

Praise for Swimming with Maya

​"An important addition to the literature of loss and restoration." ~Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author of Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery 

​"Heartbreaking and heart healing, this compelling story of surviving the death of a child will stay with you long after you've closed the book." ~Ellen Bass, author of The Courage to Heal and The Human Line 

"Every reader who has had to deal with traumatic loss will find wisdom and healing in these brave pages.'' ~Chana Bloch, author of Mrs. Dumpty and Blood Honey 

"Riveting, poignant, and utterly honest... It shows that one can recover from the loss of a child.'' ~Judy Tatelbaum, author of The Courage to Grieve and You Don't Have to Suffer 

"Eleanor Vincent chronicles her grief and the healing that came with helping others." ~Carol Lin, CNN 

"Blows the reader away with its clarity, its unstinting honesty, and the searing accuracy of its vision of the medical and emotional complexity surrounding the tragic death of a young woman. Highly recommended.'' ~John Ruark, MD, FACP, author of Dying Dignified 

"Thoughtful, honest and beautifully written... a fabulous story about what it means to be a mother.'' ~Wendy Lichtman, author of Blew and the Death of the Mag and Secrets, Lies and Algebra 

"Life trumps death in this beautiful memoir." ~Linda Joy Myers, author of Don't Call Me Mother--A Daughter's Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness and Power of Memoir

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