From the author of God’s Snake (“Passionate . . . a wonderful book”—Alice Munro), and Fear (“Remarkable, spare, powerful”—Grace Paley), a stunning novel, her first in seven years, that shines a From the author of God’s Snake (“Passionate . . . a wonderful book”—Alice Munro), and Fear (“Remarkable, spare, powerful”—Grace Paley), a stunning novel, her first in seven years, that shines a light on what it means to be beautiful, and to be possessed—by oneself, and by others.
The setting is New York City in the 1970s—a time and place of creativity, licentiousness, rebellion—and unforeseen perils. At its center is Beatrice: twenty-five, mesmerizingly lovely and intelligent, at once conventional and different from everyone else, married to Ned, a talented but volatile painter whose obsession with her has turned to hatred.
Beatrice is desired by everyone around her: by Faye, her seductive, bawdy childhood friend; by Cyril, a lonely, charismatic Vietnam veteran; by Colin, an aspiring musician; by Simon, a cynical older man she meets at a bar; by Chris, a young heroin addict. And then there is Perkins, the oddly threatening man next door. A sliver of light from his apartment shines in on Beatrice, a light that in her darkest hours reminds her she is not alone.
Unfolding with the powerful compression of a myth, Before offers a daring portrait of three months in the life of a young woman fighting for her identity—and her survival. It is a combustible cocktail of Eros, longing, and menace, one that captures a dizzying time in America. ...Continua Nascondi