Renee Simpson and her childhood family are the basis of the character Reebee and the Applewhites. I Can’t Swim is her first book about the Applewhites. She holds degrees in British and American Literature, Philosophy, and Anthropology from New York University; Gender Theory from the London School of Economics; and a law degree from the University of California. A dual citizen of the U.S. and U.K, she currently resides in New York City where she is writing the sequel, I Wish I Was Just Visiting, when she is not attending to her six English Sheep Dogs. A true fan of the fictional memoir, one of these facts is fiction.