von Petry, Ann
INTRODUCED BY KAITLYN GREENIDGE
'Petry is the writer we have been waiting for, hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment . . . insightful, prescient and unputdownable . . . The Narrows is the story of an interracial romance that proves that passion and prejudice are not mutually exclusive' Tayari Jones
It's Saturday, past midnight, and thick fog rolls in from the river like smoke. Link Williams is standing on the dock when he hears quick footsteps approaching, and the gasp of a woman too terrified to scream. After chasing off her pursuer, he takes the woman to a nearby bar to calm her nerves, and as they enter, it's as if the oxygen has left the room: they, and the other patrons, see in the dim light that he's Black and she's white.
Link is a brilliant Dartmouth graduate, former athlete and soldier who, because of the lack of opportunities available to him, tends bar; Camilo is a wealthy, married heiress who has crossed the town's racial divide to relieve the tedium of her privileged life. Brought together by chance, Link and Camilo draw each other into furtive encounters that violate the rigid and uncompromising social codes of their times.
'Petry will always feel on time. Her kind of talent will always feel startling and sui generis. . . . Her work endures not only because it illuminates reality, but because it harnesses the power of fiction to supplant it' Parul Seghal, New York Times
'The Street and The Narrows are masterpieces of social realism . . . . [Petry's] writing transcends comparisons. It's volatile but exacting, heartbreaking but often brutally funny. Labels don't stick to it' Wall Street Journal
Ann Petry's novels The Street
and The Narrows
are masterpieces of social realism - volatile but exacting, heartbreaking but often brutally funny ... The Narrows
is capacious, elliptical and immersive. Slowly and comprehensively, it envelops you ...The scenes seethe with rage, and yet the book's sheer profusion makes it feel joyous and celebratory