Nicola Keegan was born in Galway, Ireland, and grew up in a decidedly Catholic atmosphere before graduating from the University of Iowa and studying at the Sorbonne. Her debut novel, Swimming (Knopf, 2009), about the rise of an Olympic champion struggling to stay afloat in the only way she can, has been called ferociously original. Keegan divides her time between Ireland and France, along with her husband and three children.