Bonnie Tsui was born in Queens, New York, and raised on Long Island. As her parents met in a swimming pool in Hong Kong, it seemed fitting that she and her brother should then prepare for competitive swimming careers, which lasted a decade. She attended Harvard University, where she rowed crew, snowboarded, and graduated magna cum laude in English and American Literature and Language. She also lived in Australia, studying at the University of Sydney and writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, and won a Radcliffe Traveling Fellowship to New Zealand.
Bonnie’s latest book is Why We Swim. Propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck, Bonnie dives into the deep, from the chilly San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating the ancestry and essence of water’s allure. Why We Swim was named in TIME magazine’s list of 100 Must-Read Books of 2020.